Students pushing for OC Transpo to go completely electric by 2035

By Jenn Pritchard

The e-Bus Ottawa Campaign is being launched by students from both the University of Ottawa and Carleton University who want to make a change to the environment at the municipal level. 

Student organizer Justin Larsen said he got involved in the project because young people are fearful of the future and he wanted to do something to make Ottawa a better place. 

“I'm doing this for everybody that is scared to live another 10 years, because I believe that if you start now, you might have a shot,” Larsen explained. 

The e-Bus Ottawa Campaign is a partnership between the students, the Electric Vehicle Council of Ottawa, Ecology Ottawa and the Healthy Transportation Coalition. 

EVCO Director, Kathleen Eglin explained to 1310 NEWS that Ottawa needs to match what other major Canadian cities are doing now. 

“Start a pilot in 2020, get some [electric] buses on regular routes in 2021, stop buying diesel buses by 2024 so that our fleet is all electric by 2035.” 

The campaign claims that OC Transpo buses produce 45 per cent of the emissions from the City of Ottawa's operations, and by moving to electric vehicles, they would see the current numbers cut in half. 

The group also claims that a fully electric fleet would save about $30-million per year in fuel costs. 

Right now, EVCO's first goal is getting the public interested in its electric bus idea. It's launched a petition that it plans to bring to Ottawa city council. 

So far, organizers say they have received support from at least one city councillor: Catherine McKenney. 

To sign the petition, click here.

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