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Electric buses set to hit the road this October

Grande Prairie residents could see a new type of bus on the roads by October. City Transit Manager Steve Harvard says that two of the area’s new electric buses have been delivered and are preparing to hit the road in the next few months.

“Currently we’ve already had two delivered and they’re in the process of a post-delivery inspection… We’re hoping that if everything works perfectly we can get them out on the road by the beginning of October.”

The new electric buses were purchased back in March of this year. Former City Transit Manager Jason Henry previously said that once a bus is purchased, it can take around nine months to prepare it to hit the road.

The new buses will operate using an electric motor that is powered by a rechargeable battery, which the city says will provide a quieter ride and less noise pollution. Havard says the buses will be smaller in size than the city’s current fleet and will look slightly different than what residents are used to seeing.

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“They’re the 30-foot size and they look a little bit boxier because the batteries are actually on the roof. You would see the windows and then you have this about two to three-foot section of plastic or fibreglass that goes on either side of the bus and that’s just basically hiding the battery. It will look similar but just a little different.”

The idea was originally brought before the City’s Community Growth Committee in 2016 with the idea that half of Grande Prairie Transit’s fleet of 21 buses would become electric by 2018.

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