Fort Sask Transit (FST) is adding an electric bus to the local fleet.
 
On Tuesday (Apr.9), city council passed a motion to amend a capital budget request to include the purchase of an electric bus at a cost of $397,500.
 
It will be funded by provincial and federal grants, as well as city annual capital funding.
 
"The primary justification for buying the fourth bus is to extend the life of the existing fleet, but also to reduce maintenance and rental costs," said transit supervisor Anthony Dionigi.
 
The original capital project request addressed the purchase of a gasoline-powered bus, estimated to cost around $260,000. It was anticipated that 50 per cent of the cost would be covered by a federal grant, with the city contributing the other 50 per cent or $130,000.
 
No other funding had been announced or committed by the province at the time, but the city ultimately applied for the Alberta Community Transit Fund and received approval last month.
 
"We were notified that the province would not fund a gasoline-powered bus in this round of funding, so we worked with the province to basically be considered for an electric bus, which was approved in the amount of $163,750," Dionigi explained. "We are still awaiting the federal portion of the grant funding, but we anticipate that will be equivalent to what we've already been approved for on the provincial side."
 
As such, the city will only contribute $70,000 for the project, resulting in a reduction of $60,000 in capital costs and $10,300 in operating costs from the original request. The $60,000 in savings will be transferred to another qualifying capital project, which would have used reserve funds otherwise.
 
Smart Bus equipment will come pre-installed on the new electric bus.

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