CINCINNATI – First Student is beginning to receive and operate what will eventually total 260 brand-new electric school buses in Quebec. The company placed the historic order of electric school buses with Lion Electric last May. The order made it the largest owner and operator of zero-emission school buses in North America.
“At First Student, we recognize the importance electrification will play in the future of student transportation,” said First Student President Paul G. Osland. “Our efforts in Quebec are just the beginning of our commitment to lead the industry by implementing zero-emission technologies in our operations. As we start the roll-out of hundreds of electric school buses in the region, we are proud to take this significant step to improve sustainability and the environmental health of our student passengers and the communities we serve.”
The electric school buses are being used by Transco, a First Student subsidiary that operates in Quebec. Thousands of students in LaSalle and Repentigny are currently riding more than 50 of the buses to and from school.
An internal team of experts at the company built the infrastructure in LaSalle to support the electric school buses. They installed 25kW DC fast chargers, using a unique approach that enables most of the infrastructure to be moved or relocated easily if needed. Similar innovative efforts are currently underway at its location in Pointe Claire.
First Student also plans to add school electric buses to its fleet in Anjou, Delson, Mascouche, Montreal-North and Saint-Hubert. First Student Area General Manager Laurie Henner is leading the company’s electrification efforts in Quebec.
“We are excited to simplify the electrification process, creating a turnkey solution for school districts,” said First Student Head of Electrification Kevin L. Matthews. “In addition to the environmental benefits, electrification of school bus fleets also results in lower costs, less maintenance and a better experience for students. We look forward to bringing more electric buses online at our locations across North America.”
Deliveries of the electric buses in Quebec are expected to continue through the first half of 2023.