TTC's 'newest generation' hybrid electric bus expected on the road in 2 weeks

The Toronto Transit Commission took ownership of its "newest generation" hybrid electric bus on Tuesday and Mayor John Tory was on hand to celebrate the moment.

Buses will provide TTC customers with 'cleaner, greener' ride, Mayor John Tory says

The TTC took ownership of its first hybrid electric bus on Tuesday. The vehicle is the first of 55 to be delivered to the TTC by the end of the year. Each one costs about $860,000. (Toronto Transit Commission)

The Toronto Transit Commission took ownership of what it calls its "newest generation" hybrid electric bus on Tuesday and Mayor John Tory was on hand to celebrate the moment.

The TTC said in a news release that "these ecofriendly vehicles" use hybrid technology and run off power that is generated on board the bus and fueled by diesel engines.

"What these buses will do for us is provide our customers with a cleaner, greener ride," Tory told reporters outside the Metro Toronto Convention Centre.

The vehicles still use fuel to produce energy, but they consume up to 30 per cent less than buses that are not hybrids, and are more advanced than the diesel electric hybrid buses the TTC rolled out a decade ago.

"I think this is a very important day as we take delivery of these new buses," Tory said. 

The bus is the first of 55 to be delivered to the TTC by the end of the year. Each bus costs about $860,000. The first one will be on the road within the next two weeks, but has not yet been assigned a route. 

Buses said to 'environmentally positive'

"It's our bus now and we own it," TTC spokesperson Stuart Green told CBC Toronto. "It's all good to go."

The TTC says 200 more hybrid electric buses and 60 electric eBuses are expected to be delivered by the end of next year. The buses are being manufactured by Nova Bus, based in Saint-Eustache, Que. and a division of Volvo Group.

The federal government and the city are spending $370 million on these buses as part of the federal Public Transit Infrastructure Fund.

At the news conference, Tory said the buses, which he called "environmentally positive," are a win-win because they produce fewer greenhouse gas emissions, cost less in maintenance, and each one is expected to save the city about $25,600 a year in fuel costs.

"There's just a whole bunch of wins that are found in the acquisition of these buses. And they will be on our streets in the next few weeks. People will see them and I think they're going to love them."

Federal fund helping to pay for greener buses 

"Today's hybrid bus is as close as possible to being a fully electric bus as it is driven by an electric motor powered by on-board battery system. The only distinction between a hybrid and an all-electric bus is that the hybrid has an on-board generator that produces electricity when needed," the TTC said. 

The transit agency said on-board systems, such as doors, heating, ventilation and air conditioning, and power steering, are all fully electrified. 

The TTC said it is using the Public Transit Infrastructure Fund to acquire greener buses as part of the city's plan to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

The fund is helping to pay for repairs, modernization and expansion of the city's transit networks. Up to $1.8 billion is being invested in the city through the fund, which was established in August 2016.

The TTC wants all of its buses to be emission-free by 2040.