Is Canada taking a cue from Shenzhen’s electric public transit system?

The Canadian government, which aspires to achieve net zero emissions by 2050, has outlined a multi-pronged approach to reach the target. Among many of the initiatives that it has taken is the decision to introduce electric buses for public transit. The micro-level approach by Canadian cities focuses not only on having more zero emission passenger vehicles but also 100 per cent electrification of the public transit fleet.

Canada seems to have taken a cue from Shenzhen. In March 2021, Catherine McKenna, the Minister of Infrastructure and Communities, announced that the government will spend 2.75 billion Canadian dollars to purchase five thousand zero emission buses. The money will be spent over a five-year period beginning in 2021. The minister also highlighted that Infrastructure Canada has so far helped in the procurement of over 300 electric buses.

What lies ahead depends on the intent and policy action of the Canadian government, both at the federal and provincial levels. The Chinese city has set an example, but the onus is also on public transit agencies to acquire more and more electric buses just like TTC.

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