STM - Society in motion
A brand new type of vehicle will soon join the ranks in our fleet of buses sometime in 2013. Indeed, the STM recently awarded a contract to DesignLine USA for the acquisition of seven fully electric midibuses.
With an overall length of 9.28 metres, mid-way between a minibus and a standard bus, these new, low-floor vehicles can carry 45 passengers and are equipped with a low-floor ramp for easier access for anyone with limited mobility. As the STM wants to properly assess this latest acquisition, on-board instruments will also measure their operational performance, and evaluate customer satisfaction.
Thanks to their fully electric engine, these vehicles will enable us to provide a public transit service that is 100% ecological and sustainable. And because the first midibus will be operated in the Old Montréal and Old Port district by the middle of 2013, it will be helping to protect the historic, heritage assets in the area, a favourite among Montrealers and tourists alike. The mid-size bus’ low noise levels should also be appreciated by transit users, as well as by the cyclists and pedestrians who will come across it. The diesel buses currently serving the area will be replaced by mid-size vehicles that produce zero emissions and run more quietly. The other six mid-size buses should be introduced into passenger service by the end of 2013.
Aiming for a 100% electric transit network
I have previously used this blog to speak of the STM’s determination regarding the electrification of its surface transportation network by 2025, as outlined in our 2020 Strategic Plan. Taking delivery of these midibuses is another step in that direction.
Between vehicles using a combustion engine and vehicles with an electric drive, hybrid technology offers an adequate alternative for the transition. The STM will move forward with its acquisition of biodiesel-electric, hybrid drive buses starting in 2013, which should lead to a 30% saving of fuel on average, as well as an equivalent reduction in GHG emissions. Furthermore, the STM initiated a study to produce a report on the deployment of a network of trolleybuses on the island of Montréal, from which an optimal plan will be developed by the end of 2012. Lastly, the STM recently purchased two rechargeable Chevrolet Volt hybrid electric cars so that designated teams can move between different work sites.
And so we are making our way toward a 100% electric network, a commitment that will have an enormous impact on the quality of life of all Montrealers. I take pride in seeing the STM follow this sustainable path.