Quebec Transportation Minister Chantale Rouleau is helping lead her government’s efforts to electrify public transportation in the province.
On Tuesday, she announced an $18 million grant to bus company Transco to help purchase electric school buses.
“One hundred and twenty new buses, electric buses, will be on the island of Montreal,” she told reporters during the announcement.
It’s part of the Quebec government’s goal to turn 65% of all buses in the province into electric buses and part of a larger plan to electrify public transportation, such as the Réseau’s light rail transit system. express métropolitain (REM) under construction.
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Rouleau said the purchase of the buses is one of the government’s latest efforts to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 37.5% below 1990 levels by 2030.
The electrification of public transport has some people wondering about the future of gas-powered public transport, such as commuter trains in Montreal, a key component of public transport in the suburbs.
“The commuter train provides very good service,” said Beaconsfield Mayor Georges Bourelle.
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With the construction of the REM, the survival of commuter trains is a priority for many commuters, but Bourelle thinks people shouldn’t worry.
“I don’t see the REM necessarily replacing the service that is now provided by the Exo train,” he told Global News, “especially on the south side of (Highway) 20.
Many commuters live south of Highway 20 but the REM is being built closer to Highway 40, a few miles north.
Bourelle thinks light rail and commuter rail will complement each other.
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Advocates like Samuel Pagé-Plouffe of Vivre En Ville, a community group that lobbies for sustainable living in cities, have also stressed the need for more public transit, not less.
“If trains were to disappear, it could mean an increase in the use of individual cars, which would mean an increase in (greenhouse gas) emissions,” he said.
All these signs indicate the need to maintain both systems in the short term.
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