First Student is starting to receive and operate what will eventually total 260 new electric school buses in Quebec.
Last May, First Student placed that order and became one of the largest owners and operators of zero-emission school buses in North America.
"At First Student, we recognize the importance electrification will play in the future of student transportation," said First Student President Paul G. Osland. "Our efforts in Quebec are just the beginning of our commitment to lead the industry by implementing zero-emission technologies in our operations. As we start the roll-out of hundreds of electric school buses in the region, we are proud to take this significant step to improve sustainability and the environmental health of our student passengers and the communities we serve."
The electric school buses are being used by Transco, a First Student subsidiary that operates in Quebec. Thousands of students in LaSalle and Repentigny are currently riding more than 50 of the buses to and from school.
An internal team of experts at First Student built the infrastructure in LaSalle to support the electric school buses. They installed 25kW DC fast chargers, using an approach that enables most of the infrastructure to be moved or relocated easily if needed. Similar efforts are currently underway at the First Student location in Pointe Claire.
First Student also plans to add school electric buses to its fleet in Anjou, Delson, Mascouche, Montreal-North, and Saint-Hubert. Laurie Henner, an area general manager for First Student, is leading the company's electrification efforts in Quebec.
"We are excited to simplify the electrification process, creating a turnkey solution for school districts," said Kevin L. Matthews, head of electrification for First Student. "In addition to the environmental benefits, electrification of school bus fleets also results in lower costs, less maintenance, and a better experience for students. We look forward to bringing more electric buses online at our locations across North America."
Deliveries of the electric buses in Quebec are expected to continue through the first half of 2023.