City issues RFP for first round of green buses
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This article was published 15/09/2022 (199 days ago), so information in it may no longer be current.
The city is seeking companies to provide its first round of environmentally friendly buses, which should begin rolling down Winnipeg streets in 2024.
A new request for proposals aims to secure eight battery electric and eight fuel cell battery electric buses, which are expected to begin arriving early that year. The contract would include up to four possible one-year extensions.
If all extensions are finalized, the city would order up to 20 more green buses in each of the following two years, plus up to 55 more in each of the final two.
The third extension would see the city meet its commitment to add 100 to 110 zero-emission buses to its fleet by 2027, for which the feds and province have agreed to help fund. The three governments recently announced a cost-sharing deal that includes roughly $280 million to buy the electric buses, purchase more diesel models and add charging infrastructure.
The fourth extension would allow Winnipeg Transit to go beyond its current commitment and further electrify the bus fleet, should it secure the money to do so, said Erin Cooke, Winnipeg Transit’s project manager of the bus electrification program.
“We want the flexibility, if we are asked to accelerate our purchasing, to be able to do so,” said Cooke.
The electrification of the bus fleet has been a hot topic in the civic election. Some candidates have argued the city should greatly speed up the transition to a greener fleet and avoid purchasing any diesel models from now on.
However, Cooke said diesel buses are still needed.
“The lead time (to deliver) diesel buses is six months compared to 12 to 14 months on the zero-emission buses, (and)… we need to be able to keep our fleet up to date,” she said.
Cooke said it’s also important to gradually replace diesel buses with greener models so Transit can study the effect on its staff and schedule.
“We want to make sure they have the reliability that equals that of our diesel buses… (and give) the time to adapt our processes so that we aren’t putting services at risk,” she said.
In a separate request for proposals, the city is seeking a consultant to design fast-charging bus stations at the 600 Brandon Ave. transit garage. Bidders are expected to propose systems that can charge a minimum of 18 buses simultaneously.
A second tender for construction and installation of the chargers is expected next year, while construction should be completed by Feb. 28, 2024, the document says.
Cooke said the total price for that work will depend on bids from interested companies.
Born and raised in Winnipeg, Joyanne loves to tell the stories of this city, especially when politics is involved. Joyanne became the city hall reporter for the Winnipeg Free Press in early 2020.