Gabriola Island transit company applies for grant for electric buses

Gabriola Island transit company applies for grant for electric buses
Gabriola Community Bus is looking to add two electric buses to its fleet. (Gabriola Community Bus/Facebook)

A transit company on Gabriola Island has applied for a grant from the federal government to buy electric buses and infrastructure.

In a letter to the Regional District of Nanaimo board, Helen Cook with Gabriola Environmentally Responsible Transit Island Express (GERTIE) says the goal of the company is to reduce greenhouse gas emissions on the island.

“Our mandate is to reduce GHG emissions on Gabriola and, while doing so, to serve all members of our island community,” Cook says in the letter. “Our story is one of success, we have remained operational during the pandemic and our ridership is now recovering along with the regional economy as the pandemic wanes.”

The company submitted an application to the Infrastructure Canada Rural Transit Solutions Fund, which will provide up to 80 per cent of a project’s cost, and the remaining 20 per cent can come from provincial or local governments, or through the organization’s own funding.

In the letter, Cook says the company may be eligible to apply to the Clean BC – Go Electric program to help fund the remaining 20 per cent, if the grant is received.

The letter to the RDN was to request a letter of support for the grant application, which the board approved unanimously.

“A bit of an update they did put in an application to fund two buses,” Vanessa Craig, electoral area B director said in the April 12 board meeting. “They have funding confirmed from [Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure] to support the grant if they do indeed receive the grant and also are in conversation with clean BC for funding.”

Laura BroughamLaura Brougham

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