With federal and provincial funding for bus rapid transit in the hands of city council, they now need to make a decision. The next step in rapid transit development is to make a decision on the type of bus most beneficial for the routes.
A toss-up between electric and diesel busing required council to call a delegation meeting. Dr. Josipa Petrunic, director of Canadian Urban Transit, came to the meeting to discuss the benefits of electric buses for rapid transit routes. She says the city will save thousands of dollars.
“You’re going to have a savings there of about $333 000 to $555 000 by electrifying the route. So about half a million dollars to a third of a million dollars.”
Electrified routes are not just going to be a cost savings. Noise and carbon emission reductions are also a major benefit for the environment by going electric.
“Studies have shown that decibel reduction in noise is allowing for the re-population of nature and wildlife or at least the re-recognition of nature and wildlife.”
Councillors all said a well done presentation done by Petrunic, but most are just not ready to move forward with such a big decision.
“I’m happy to continue on with the research, and when we get to that point where our staff and others say yeah this is really gonna work well for London, let’s go. But I won’t be saying I’m approving it in principle tonight.”
Council are looking for more professional opinion on the benefits of electric over diesel before they come to a decision. A decision will need to be made soon though as SHIFT London, organizers of the bus rapid transit project, want to have things rolling within the next year.