Everyday I see the signs of global warming and climate change. The extended cold weather this season, and the record breaking hurricanes last fall have me wanting to do my part to try to reverse these effects. In the day-to -day hustle it’s easy to ignore the environment and forget to conserve water and electricity. It’s easy to leave the car idling in frigid weather or forget to recycle a coffee cup- believe me, I am guilty of all of the above. The Ontario government is planning to do more to reduce greenhouse emissions produced by municipal transit systems in the GTA. A new pilot program will be launched to test electric battery-powered buses in Brampton and the York Region.
The program is part of the Ontario Climate Change Action Plan, and is funded by proceeds from the cap on pollution and carbon market.
Steven Del Duca, minister of Economic Development and Growth, was in Newmarket earlier this week, to make the announcement:
“Our investment in York Region and Brampton demonstrates how we are helping our municipal transit systems reduce their carbon footprint. Reducing greenhouse gas pollution from vehicles is one of the most important actions we can take to fight climate change.”
The province is investing $13 million and purchasing 14 electric buses and four charging stations for the York and Brampton transit systems. The projects will be coordinated by the Canadian Urban Transit Research and Innovation Consortum – a green transportation group.
Chris Ballard, Minister of the Environment and Climate Change, spoke about the benefits of the new initiative:
“Investing in municipal electric buses will help us significantly reduce greenhouse gas pollution from transportation, a sector that contributes more than one-third of the province’s emissions. Buses are an energy efficient way to move a large number of people. Making them an even cleaner option is a great example of how our carbon market and Climate Change Action Plan are investing in innovative actions to move us towards a healthier, low-carbon future.”
Service of the new electric buses will begin in 2019. It’s wonderful that the Liberals are determined to cut greenhouse gas pollution by 37% as of 2030 and 80% before 2050. The commitment to improving quality of life and the health of the planet must be made by everyone.