Calgary

Banff launches electric buses, new zero-emissions transit operations centre

Roam Transit, which serves Banff, Canmore and Lake Louise, is taking steps toward an entirely zero-emission transit system.

Buses will service destinations like the Banff Gondola, Banff Springs Hotel and Tunnel Mountain campgrounds

Officials attended a ribbon-cutting for the new buses and transit operations centre in Banff, Alta., on Tuesday. (Evelyne Asselin/CBC)

Visitors to some of Banff's most popular destinations will soon be able to travel in a more eco-friendly way. 

Roam Transit, which serves Banff, Canmore and Lake Louise, is taking steps toward an entirely zero-emission transit system.

On Tuesday, Roam added three electric buses to its fleet — the first electric buses in the National Park — and opened a new transit operations and training centre in the Banff townsite.

The $8.5-million new operations centre is solar-powered and heated by biomass energy, and includes storage for 30 buses, charging areas, and a training simulator. The building is efficiently insulated and does not have a natural gas connection.

Roam Transit's new operations centre includes a bus charging station. (Evelyne Asselin/CBC)

The buses will service destinations like the Banff Gondola, Banff Springs Hotel and Tunnel Mountain campgrounds year-round. The buses are quieter and cheaper to maintain than diesel buses. 

"Environmental stewardship is important for our community, as it is for the national park, so having electric buses, of course, meets that criteria," said Banff Mayor Karen Sorenson. 

The facility and electric buses received provincial funding through the Green Transit Incentives Program.

Banff's new transit operation centre includes training simulators. (Evelyne Asselin/CBC)

With files from Dave Gilson

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