EV Bus procurement TPI

Making progress on electrifying Ontario’s bus fleets

First 12-metre battery electric bus joint procurement contract recently awarded by Metrolinx.

Oct 19, 2023

Metrolinx is working with ten transit agencies to take a big step towards electrifying Ontario’s bus fleets.

In an Ontario-first, the joint purchasing contract for 12-metre battery electric buses was recently awarded to New Flyer through Metrolinx’s Transit Procurement Initiative.

This allows the transit agencies involved to buy electric buses over the next two years in a more economic way as vehicles are being bought together in bulk.

Metrolinx is also supporting smaller transit agencies through the bulk buy – who wouldn’t achieve the economies of scale benefits on their own.

Because of this, the agencies involved (Barrie, Belleville, Brantford, Kingston, Leamington, Milton, Sault Ste Marie, Stratford, Sudbury, Thunder Bay) expect to have 40 new 12-metre electric buses ordered over the next 24 months.  

EV Bus procurement TPI

A fully electric Kingston Transit bus, one of the transit agencies taking part in joint purchasing contract.

“Our ability to participate in joint procurement programs such as the 12-metre battery electric bus procurement, ensures the city is able to purchase high quality products while maximizing savings for taxpayers,” says Brendan Adair, City of Greater Sudbury director of transit services.

On top of the joint bus procurement, Metrolinx is also coordinating the release of a joint procurement for charging systems for the vehicles. 

“We will leverage the TPI program for both our 12-metre electric bus purchases and the associated charging infrastructure, enabling us to focus on the planning, delivering, training and implementation of the City’s zero-emission fleet strategies and corresponding Climate Leadership plans,” says Brent Fowler, City of Kingston, director of corporate asset management and fleet.

EV Bus procurement TPI

Two EV buses from the Kingston Transit fleet.

Part of bigger electric plan

This is all part of a larger, long-term battery electric bus joint procurement roadmap to electrify Ontario fleets.

In 2021, Metrolinx began researching the shift towards electrifying transit vehicles and working with local transit agencies to buy electric buses.

The long-term goal is to have an active electric bus contract for every standard size of transit bus (from small 6-metre buses to full sized 12-metre buses). 

This is all part of Metrolinx’s work to champion innovative, eco-friendly solutions that reduce the region’s environmental impact, lower greenhouse gas emissions and expand sustainable travel options.

by Scott Money Metrolinx editorial content manager