WALL, N.J., Oct. 25, 2021 /PRNewswire/ -- Student Transportation of Canada (STC), a subsidiary of Student Transportation of America (STA), an industry leader in student transportation, safety, and fleet services, is pleased to announce that the organization is currently exploring the potential deployment of zero-emission electric school buses in its Canadian markets. The organization has submitted a purchase order for 1,000 all-electric LionC school buses, conditioned upon the satisfactory grant of non-repayable contributions to STC under Infrastructure Canada's Zero Emission Transit Fund ("ZETF"), for which STC has filed a formal application. Under the ZETF program, the Government of Canada aims to invest $2.75 billion over five years to support public transit and school bus operators in their transition to electrification.
"We commend the Government of Canada for helping to foster new and creative solutions in the transportation industry that support a cleaner environment. These grant opportunities enable school bus electrification to become more of a reality for both providers and school boards alike, and the students are truly benefiting from this greener technology. However, we recognize that there is much more work to be done," said Patrick Vaughan, Chief Executive Officer of Student Transportation of America.
Although grant funding is not guaranteed, STC will begin discussions with school boards to determine their interest in and the viability of incorporating electric buses into existing fleets. These electric vehicles would replace diesel buses, with deliveries potentially beginning as early as the 2022 school year and continuing through to the first half of 2026.
This investment by STA, whose controlling shareholder is Caisse de dépôt et placement du Québec (CDPQ), would also contribute to CDPQ's portfolio decarbonation objectives.
"STC recognizes how imperative it is to be a global steward in reducing emissions and minimizing the environmental impact of our services. Electric buses are a great step toward this objective. We look forward to working with government leaders, our majority shareholder CDPQ and our customers in the coming weeks and hope that our collaboration can make incorporating electric buses into fleets a reality," said Vaughan.
"As the controlling shareholder of Student Transportation, we are delighted to support the company in its green shift, with the deployment of a fleet that would make it the largest operator of zero-emission school busses in North America. Driving the next generation to their place of learning in electric transport is a good illustration of our vision for a more sustainable future. This ambitious program, carried out thanks to Lion, the Quebec leader in electric transport, fits perfectly into our climate strategy, and will directly contribute to our commitment to reduce the carbon intensity of our portfolio by 60% by 2030," said Emmanuel Jaclot, Executive Vice-President and Head of Infrastructure at CDPQ.
If funding is approved and Canadian school boards opt to pursue the electric buses, STC would become the largest operator of zero-emission school buses in North America. STA currently runs an electric vehicle pilot program in the United States with electric buses either deployed or planned for deployment in select markets, including Los Angeles, CA, Trenton, NJ, Barre, VT, and others. The project is being led by 45-year industry veteran Ron Halley, who serves as the Vice President of Fleet and Facilities.
As part of the electric vehicle pilot program, Halley's team is tracking battery life, monitoring component life, and collecting other key data. With electric fleets planned for urban, suburban, and rural areas, this information will give the company actionable intelligence into the performance of electric vehicles in distinct operating environments. Halley also leads the company's alternative fuel program, working closely with manufacturing and energy partners to expand the company's Green Fleet of lower-emission vehicles.
"If we're going to make a move toward a more sustainable future in the transportation industry, it's ultimately going to be a collaborative effort between STA and the various equipment manufacturers with whom we have long-standing relationships. We look forward to growing these partnerships in the years ahead," said Gene Kowalczewski, Chief Operating Officer of Student Transportation of America. "We're excited about the potential for electric buses in the U.S. and Canada, and remain optimistic that through strategic investments, partnerships and necessary grants, we can make strides in the right direction."
To date, STA has replaced more than 2,000 diesel-engine school buses with alternative-fuel vehicles in the United States. The company has received a Green Fleet Magazine Sustainability All-Star Award for its leadership in the space. STA is hopeful that efforts in Canada will be just as fruitful as it works with government leaders, partners and customers to explore electric vehicles.
Lion estimates that the deployment of 1,000 all-electric school buses would help eliminate approximately 23,000 tons of greenhouse gas emissions per year, in addition to significantly reducing noise pollution for the communities in which they operate.
About Student Transportation of America
Founded in 1997, Student Transportation of America (STA) is an industry leader in school transportation, safety and fleet services. STA operates more than 16,000 vehicles, providing customers with the highest level of safe and reliable student transportation, management, logistics and technology solutions throughout the U.S. and Canada. Services are delivered by drivers, dispatchers, maintenance technicians, managers, information technology professionals and others, who are caring members of their local communities. For more information, please visit www.rideSTA.com.
At Caisse de dépôt et placement du Québec (CDPQ), we invest constructively to generate sustainable returns over the long term. As a global investment group managing funds for public retirement and insurance plans, we work alongside our partners to build enterprises that drive performance and progress. We are active in the major financial markets, private equity, infrastructure, real estate and private debt. As of June 30, 2021, CDPQ's net assets total CAD 390 billion. For more information, visit cdpq.com, follow us on Twitter or consult our Facebook or LinkedIn pages.