Fifteen schools outside of Edmonton, Canada, will be the recipients of a fleet of electric school buses thanks to the Canadian government’s Zero Emission Transit Fund (ZETF).
The St. Albert Public School Division announced the first capital project for electric school buses and will leverage over $2.9 million in joint funding from ZETF and Highland Electric Fleets to deliver five zero-emission school buses and charging depots, which will serve 15 schools across the district, according to a press release.
"Investments in green transit options help create meaningful change in communities across the country, including right here in Alberta," said Randy Boissonnault, Minister of Tourism and Associate Minister of Finance and Member of Parliament for Edmonton Centre. "These new electric buses will help bring students to school and back while reducing greenhouse gas emissions and supporting our efforts to achieve net-zero emissions by 2050."
The Government of Canada is contributing $1,340,398 to the project through the Zero Emissions Transit Fund. Highland Electric Fleets will fund the balance of this project — approximately $1,601,343 — through financing and direct payment.
"This project is a huge step for our school division and our community. We would like to thank the Government of Canada, Highland Electric Fleets, and Cunningham Transport – this is a true partnership of organizations committed to the vital task of reducing emissions in St. Albert," St. Albert Public Schools Board Chair Kim Armstrong said. "Because of the way we design our bus runs, these five buses will stop at almost all of our schools, which means that many of our students will see this commitment firsthand. We teach our students the importance of taking care of our environment, and this is a striking example of us putting these teachings into action. We can't wait to get started!"
The ZETF helps communities transition to zero emission transit and school buses to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and contribute to Canada's net-zero emissions targets. The program is accepting applications under both its Planning and Capital streams. Eligible applicants can seek funding to help cover planning and capital costs related to electrifying public transit systems and school transportation, including the purchase of zero-emission buses and related infrastructure.
"We are excited to partner with the Government of Canada, Cunningham Transport, and St. Albert Public Schools to bring clean, reliable electric school buses to St. Albert's students and community," Highland Electric Fleets CEO Duncan McIntyre said. "This is the first capital project under the ZETF for electric school buses in Canada, and we look forward to helping deploy more funding for zero-emission transportation that will support job creation, community resilience, and cleaner air for Canada's students and citizens."
The Government of Canada is investing $14.9 billion over the next eight years in reliable, fast, affordable, and clean public transit. This funding includes $3 billion per year in permanent, predictable federal public transit funding which will be available to support transit solutions beginning in 2026-27. Since 2015, the Government of Canada has invested over $24.8 billion in transit projects across the country, providing Canadians with cleaner and more efficient commuting options.