• Arrival of biodiesel-electric hybrid propulsion buses • On the road to biodiesel

Press release

Sustainable development
The STM announces concrete actions

Arrival of biodiesel-electric hybrid propulsion buses
On the road to biodiesel

Montreal, March 22, 2007 - As part of a press conference held on the occasion of the Youth Summit on Climate Change, Messrs Claude Trudel, Chairman of the Board of Directors of the Société de transport de Montréal (STM), Andr� Lavallée, member of the Executive Committee of the Ville de Montréal and the person responsible for public transit and urban planning, and Yves Devin, Director-General of the STM, announced concrete actions relating to sustainable development.

Mr. Trudel explained that the STM has revised its strategic plan and modified its mission statement to reflect its commitment to sustainable development. « The Société already carries out hundreds of actions related to sustainable development, but it wanted to do more. The gesture that we are making today clearly conveys our willingness and commitment to integrate it into our business decisions and into the actions we undertake daily ».

Among the significant gestures made by the STM was the signing in June 2005 of the Charter of Sustainable Development of the International Association of Public Transport (UITP). By doing so, it committed itself to promoting the importance of sustainable development, influencing national policies, facilitating the training and involvement of personnel and to periodic evaluation of the quality of its practices.

Arrival of biodiesel-electric hybrid propulsion buses

Mr. Trudel took pleasure in announcing that the STM will acquire biodiesel-electric hybrid propulsion buses as part of the Transport Canada’s Urban Transportation Showcase Program, with the financial collaboration of the ministère des Transports du Québec. In fact, the STM will participate in a joint-venture project with the Société de transport de l’Outaouais, the objective of which is to notably test various measures targeted at reducing GHG emissions and fuel consumption.

The STM plans to put eight hybrid buses into service in order to evaluate their environmental performance in various climatic conditions. These buses will be compared to standard buses of the same generation that will serve as control and will run on the same routes. They will be put into service on regular routes and will circulate, in particular, in the Notre-Dame-de-Grâce / C�te-des-Neiges sector as of January 2008.

In Montréal, this undertaking could lead to a reduction in GHGs on the order of 330 tons annually – the equivalent of removing approximately sixty vehicles travelling 20,000 km. Based on results obtained by King County Transit in Seattle, these environmental gains would be the result of a 20% reduction in fuel consumption.

On the road to biodiesel in 2008

Following the success of the Biobus project carried out in 2002-2003 and involving 155 buses, the STM selected biodiesel as one of its choice to support its commitment to sustainable development. In the coming months, the STM will therefore take the necessary steps to progressively start fuelling its entire bus fleet with biofuel. If everything goes as planned, the first biodiesel fuelled buses should be launched by early 2008. This initiative will also contribute to the reduction of GHGs. For example, the use of B5 fuel will reduce GHGs by approximately 7 000 tonnes annually, representing the equivalent of the elimination of some 1 400 vehicles travelling 20 000 km per year.

« These initiatives demonstrate the firm willingness of the Ville de Montréal to provide Montrealers with a more ecological environment and much-improved air quality. Let’s remember that a bus using biofuel reduces GHG emissions by four tonnes per year. Reduction of greenhouse gases is one of the objectives targeted by the Ville de Montréal’s Transportation Plan », stated Mr. Andr� Lavallée.

« The concrete actions announced today by the STM are evidence of a strong willingness to prioritize sustainable development. I am delighted with these initiatives that will combine with the multiple efforts that our administration has already put in place to reconcile environmental concerns with the development of the Montréal agglomeration », declared Mr. Alan DeSousa, member of the Executive Committee responsible for sustainable development.

« A proliferation of concrete measures is the primary means of ensuring the fastest advancement of the sustainable development cause. From this standpoint, it would be entirely appropriate to recognize the STM's initiative, since it has not only made GHG emissions reduction possible, it has also set an inspiring example of direct actions that both organizations and individuals could themselves act to set in motion, » declared Isabelle Hudon, President and CEO of the Board of Trade of Metropolitan Montreal.

« I am convinced that the initiatives of the STM and the various parties involved will have a significant impact on the quality of life of the citizens of the Greater Montréal area and will encourage them to use sustainable transportation in greater numbers », concluded Mr. Trudel.

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