Home to a green future2 min readReading Time: 2 minutes
Written by: Annie Leppington, Region of Waterloo
Grand River Transit’s new maintenance facility, helping to meet increased demand for public transit, will house more than your average bus.
The 305,000-square-foot building that opened last month will house GRT’s fully electric buses and charging stations when they arrive in 2023.
This year, the Region purchased 11 electric buses as part of a pilot. Once the new zero-emission buses arrive, testing will begin to see how electric buses handle different routes and driving conditions.
Electric buses are powered by a battery-electric propulsion system and need to be plugged in to recharge.
As GRT works to gradually replace its fleet with zero-emission vehicles, hybrid electric buses will be purchased to replace current diesel-only vehicles. Hybrid electric buses combine battery electric propulsion with a diesel engine, and produce lower emissions than regular diesel buses.
With electric bus and battery technology getting better every year, this gradual phased-in approach will help Grand River Transit take advantage of improvements to electric technology and transition the fleet in the most cost-effective way.
Last year, the transit service bought its first fully electric support vehicle, the 2022 Hyundai Kona. Support vehicles are used by GRT fare technicians to service fare vending machines and card readers, and by the marketing team for various events in the community.
The Kona can travel up to 415 kilometres on a single charge and can recharge up to 80 per cent in less than an hour.
By committing to zero-emission vehicles GRT is charging forward towards a greener future – one that is cleaner, healthier and more sustainable for our community. Find more stories published in the Transportation and Environmental Services 2021 Report to the Community