One more step in the electrification of public transit in Laval

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One more step in the electrification of public transit in Laval

This electric bus has a range of 250 km.

The Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Transport and Sustainable Mobility, Geneviève Guilbault, inaugurated Monday at a press briefing the start of the expansion of the 100% electric bus garage of the Société de transport de Laval (STL ).

The overheated construction market has inflated the projected cost of this ambitious infrastructure project, which will now exceed $300 million, or $50-60 million. more than the original estimate.

The project, which aims in the medium term for the complete electrification of user services, is 85% funded by Quebec and Ottawa.

For people to buy public transit, offer them an interesting, accessible, reliable, safe and affordable offer, argued Minister Geneviève Guilbault. The electrification of our transport and our bus fleet, like here in Laval or everywhere in Quebec, is one of our objectives.

The minister, who was accompanied by several federal and municipal political representatives, including the mayor of Laval, Stéphane Boyer, recalled that the provincial government anticipates the electrification of 55% of its urban bus fleet in ;here 2030.

In addition to the expansion of the STL's facilities, the announcement provides for the development of more than a hundred additional spaces devoted exclusively to maintenance and charging electric buses.

Regarding the expansion of the garage, Quebec is contributing $146 million, which will make it possible to accommodate 145 more electric buses, mentioned Ms. Guilbault.

“I want this supplement under sustainable mobility transport because in 2022, we are in an era where all nations of the planet are facing the same challenges of energy transition in response to policies against climate change and emissions. greenhouse gases. »

— Geneviève Guilbault, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Transport and Sustainable Mobility

The garage in question will be equipped with a new electrical entrance with a power of 20 MW, the equivalent of four times that of the Bell Center, indicated Ms. Guilbault, adding that the new complex will be operational from 2025. It's one thing to buy a fleet of electric buses, but you still need to have the corresponding infrastructure.

For the Minister, access to public transit remains a necessity even if the effects of the pandemic are still being felt in the travel of users.

The marked drop in ridership and the difficulty in finding new sources of revenue remain a source of concern for public transit companies. It is resuming everywhere, however tempered the minister.

Faced with a shortfall in the finances of public transit companies that could amount to hundreds of millions of dollars, Ms. Guilbault nevertheless admitted the need to put in place a calm reflection, intelligent and lucid.

I think everyone has to do their part too, when it comes to certain decisions that are made, she said. We can't be in a disaster at the end of each year when the municipalities balance their budget, that everyone goes to the media to say that there is a lack of money, that I, on my side, respond in the media.< /p>

For his part, the mayor of Laval, Stéphane Boyer was delighted with the public investments, but did not deny the fact that public transport is currently going through difficult times as well in attendance than in operating costs.

We must meet all these challenges, because the impacts on the environment and congestion are significant, he said. A bus takes nearly 40 cars off the road and in 2021, congestion had a $1.5 billion impact on the economy of Laval and the North Shore.

“A garage may not be sexy, but it is crucial and essential. We will not achieve our objectives without an infrastructure like the one we are announcing today. »

— Stéphane Boyer, Mayor of Laval

The mayor specified that in Laval, road transport accounts for 70% of greenhouse gas emissions in the territory , the main cause of pollution in the region.

We are the third largest city in Quebec with one of the largest demographic growths and unfortunately the car remains the main tool for development. For us, a greener public transit system is essential in the fight against climate change.

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