Yellow Buses Must Go Green!

We are living in a climate emergency, while also facing a health crisis where children’s hospitals are overstretched with kids struggling with respiratory issues. So why are we still powering our school bus fleet with diesel that causes air pollution, poor health effects, and climate change?

It is time for our yellow school buses to go green. Electric school buses for Ottawa can improve the health of our city’s children, while dramatically reducing greenhouse gas emissions that cause climate change.

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Only 20 out of 20,000 school buses in all of Ontario are electric, meaning that most of our yellow buses are expelling a soup of diesel emissions every day. Diesel emissions are proven to cause cancer, as well as respiratory, cardiovascular, reproductive and other harmful health effects. Children are particularly vulnerable, with kids in low-income neighbourhoods facing disproportionate levels of air pollution. Choosing electric school buses can work to solve multiple crises at once. It is time for Ottawa’s school buses to transition fully to an electric fleet: for the sake of children traveling to and from school every day, and for all of us breathing the city’s air.

Read our report here on the co-benefits of transitioning to electric school buses here:

Time For Our Yellow Buses To Go Green By_the_Numbers_infographic.png

Since Ottawa City Council declared a Climate Emergency in Ottawa on April 24 2019, the effects of the climate crisis have been undeniable right here in Ottawa, with floods, tornadoes and the recent devastating derecho.

Transportation in Ottawa accounts for 42% of all greenhouse gas emissions, yet Canada generates approximately 82% of its electricity from zero emission power sources. Shifting vehicles away from fossil fuel engines towards zero emission alternatives presents a critical opportunity for significant greenhouse gas emission reductions, which can help to mitigate climate change and its extreme weather events.

80,000 students take the bus to and from school every day in Ottawa. Across the province, Ontario’s 20,000+ school buses make up Canada’s largest fleet, with monumental potential to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. Despite this, Ontario’s Electric School Bus Pilot program was cancelled in 2018 when the Progressive Conservatives took power. Shockingly, only 20 school buses in the province are currently electric. We can do better.

Transitioning one school bus to electric can save around 20 tonnes of greenhouse gas emissions per year, meaning that electrifying the entire Ontario fleet would eradicate more than 360,000 tonnes of greenhouse gas emissions every single year.

This project is made possible with the support of the Trottier Foundation

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