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TransLink Low Carbon Fleet Strategy

Transportation accounts for over 35% of all greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions in Metro Vancouver. As one of the region’s largest consumers of diesel fuel and operator of a fleet of heavy-duty vehicles, TransLink plays an important role in reducing emissions in our own operations. The Low Carbon Fleet Strategy lays out a path for meeting TransLink’s environmental targets.

TransLink’s Sustainability Targets
In October 2018, the Mayors’ Council and the TransLink Board of Directors approved the following targets:

  • Reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 80% by 2050
  • Use only renewable energy in all operations by 2050

Phase One Key Findings

  • Only significant fleet electrification can achieve a reduction of TransLink’s GHG emissions by at least 80% by 2050. Use of renewable fuels in existing buses provides a cost-effective way to get early reductions while the fleet transitions.
  • Although life-cycle cost of battery electric buses may match existing technologies by 2025, over half of the cost of the strategy is in the significant charging infrastructure development and changes to bus operations pushing out total cost parity beyond 2040.
  • Fleet electrification will require additional capital funding, and this will only be partially offset by operating savings in the first decade – primarily fuel cost savings.

Phase Two Steps 2020-2050

  1. Begin purchase of additional battery electric buses in 2021, for delivery in 2023.
  2. Design next Transit Centre (Marpole) to accommodate 100% electric buses.
  3. Retrofit an existing Transit Centre to accommodate 100% electric buses in 2026.
  4. Implement on-route charging for remaining routes.
  5. Utilize Renewable Fuels in existing fleet, when available.
  6. Continually assess commercial availability and cost of long-range battery buses and hydrogen fuel cell buses for highway coaches and shuttle buses.

Proposed Approaches

TransLink is asking the Mayors’ Council to choose one of the following approaches.

Cautious approach
This is the least aggressive and lowest cost option, in recognition that funding is not yet secured, and that the technology is continuing to evolve rapidly. Moving at a measured pace may result in lower net costs over the long term.

  • Open Marpole Transit Centre as “electric ready” for 100% depot charging, install 80 chargers
  • Convert route 100 to full electric operation by adding one more on-route charger
  • Purchase 95 battery electric buses
  • Incremental capital investment of $95 million
  • Including trolleys, 26% of buses electrified by 2030
  • 2030 fleet GHG reduced by 14% compared to 2007
  • Projected operating cost savings of $27 million

Progressive approach

This is a faster pace of investment which achieves greater GHG reductions over the next 10 years while still managing technology risk.

  • Open new Marpole Transit Centre as 100% depot charging with 280 chargers
  • Convert routes 100, 159, 169, 188 to full electric operation by adding four on-route chargers
  • Purchase 314 battery electric buses
  • Incremental capital investment of $199 million
  • Including trolleys, 41% of buses electrified by 2030
  • 2030 fleet GHG reduced by 28% compared to 2007
  • Projected operating cost savings of $67 million

Aggressive approach

This is the most aggressive and costly option representing the fastest possible turn-over of the fleet to battery-electric buses without retiring existing buses early. This option achieves maximum GHG reductions over the next 10 years, but also incurs a greater level of financial and technology risk.

  • Open new Marpole Transit Centre as 100% depot charging with 280 chargers
  • Expand Burnaby Transit Centre with 267 depot chargers to accommodate 80% of routes
  • Convert route 100 and most Port Coquitlam Transit Centre routes to full electric operation by installing 17 on-route chargers
  • Purchase 635 battery electric buses
  • Incremental capital investment of $447 million
  • Including trolleys, 64% of buses electrified by 2030
  • 2030 fleet GHG reduced by 44% compared to 2007
  • Projected operating cost savings of $124 million

Media contact:
E: media@translink.ca

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    • Media Contact Hours:
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    • Email: media@translink.ca