The STM announces the purchase of regular biodiesel-electric buses

Press release

Montréal, July 4, 2012  –  On behalf of Québec’s other public transit authorities, the board of directors of the Société de transport de Montréal (STM) approved the awarding of a contract to Nova Bus, a division of Groupe Volvo Canada inc., to supply 509 regular size, low-floor, biodiesel-electric hybrid drive buses, for a total value of $471.3 M. The awarding of the contract follows an invitation-only tendering process as part of a collective purchase with the other transit authorities in Québec, steered by AVT (Société de gestion et d’acquisition de véhicules et systèmes de transport), with the help of a committee of experts from the various transit bodies. The purchase of these hybrid series buses must first obtain the approval of the ministère des Transports du Québec and of the ministère des Affaires municipales, des Régions et de l’Occupation du territoire, for approval of a borrowing bylaw by Québec public transit authorities, as needed.

The chairman of the board, Michel Labrecque, reminded that “the purchase of these hybrid buses follows in the wake of the urban transport showcase project held in 2008-2009 in collaboration with Société de transport de l’Outaouais (STO). Indeed, the eight biodiesel-electric hybrid drive buses tested side-by-side with standard buses in Montréal have shown that such hybrid technology leads to fuel savings that can reach up to 30% on average, as well as a corresponding reduction in GHG emissions.”

The STM will acquire 203 buses through this contract, 46 will replace older buses and 157 will serve to expand service, for a maximum total amount of $180.8 M, with buses being delivered each year during the 2014 - 2016 period. Afterwards, the contract also includes a purchase option for another 160 buses. Gradually, the STM will be letting go of buses running on diesel, while monitoring developments in bio-fuels and other types of drives.

“Bus purchases are part of the STM’s Strategic Plan, that states it must maintain, replace and supplement its vehicles to reach its goals in terms of growing ridership by 40% and providing 540 million passenger rides by 2020. To do so, the STM strives to improve its combined bus, métro and paratransit services by 30%,” added Mr. Labrecque.

Acquisition of additional articulated buses and seven electric mid-size passenger vehicles
At its board meeting held last April 4, the STM and other transit authorities who took part in the 2006 tendering process for articulated buses exercised two options allowing them to purchase additional articulated diesel buses from Nova Bus for 2012-2013. The STM will add a maximum of 55 articulated buses to its current fleet over the next two years. And last May, the STM awarded a contract to DesignLine USA to supply seven, fully electric, low-floor, mid-size buses, the first of which should be in service in the Old Montréal / Old Port district by mid-2013. Deployment of the six other ‘midibuses’ into passenger service, part of a strategy to reduce GHG emissions through the gradual electrification of its bus fleet, is scheduled for the end of 2013.

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