PEI

Price of electric buses not 'sustainable at this time' for capital area

The transit company serving P.E.I.'s capital region has been told it is going to have to wait for electric buses.

Charlottetown instead seeking funding for 6 diesel buses

'It wasn't sustainable at this time, but that's not to say it's something we're not looking at,' says Terry MacLeod, chair of Charlottetown's environment and sustainability committee. (Julien Lecacheur/Radio Canada)

The transit company serving P.E.I.'s capital region has been told it is going to have to wait for electric buses.

T3 Transit which operates the bus service in Charlottetown, Stratford, and Cornwall announced an ambitious plan in January for a fleet of 14 electric buses. The federal government had already agreed to cover 40 per cent of the $20.5 million cost.

But a transit committee with representatives from the three municipalities has rejected the proposal.

'More attainable'

Terry MacLeod, chair of Charlottetown's environment and sustainability committee, said there is a need to expand the service and not enough money to buy electric buses and the associated infrastructure.

"The price tag of an electric bus — it wasn't sustainable at this time, but that's not to say it's something we're not looking at," said MacLeod.

In a report to Charlottetown council, the committee said a diesel bus costs about $600,000 compared to $1 million for an electric bus. 

"It'll be a capital budget in two years' time and we're hoping that by that time there'll be a little more infrastructure for the electric buses as well and make it more attainable," MacLeod said. 

The committee has instead applied for funding through the federal government for six diesel buses at a cost of $4.5 million.

Mike Cassidy of T3 Transit said the decision wasn't a surprise because he had input, but his long-term goal is still to focus on electric.

"It's not that there wasn't a desire to go electric," he said. "We just did not feel comfortable as a committee that we had enough good information to make the decision on electric."

More P.E.I. news

With files from Natalia Goodwin

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