Electric vehicle rebate among staff proposals to speed up Toronto’s target to become a carbon neutral city
Electric vehicles offer a number of benefits for public transit, including shorter commutes and the potential to reduce CO2 emissions, according to a staff proposal to the TTC board that could lead to electric vehicle rebates by city staff and the TTC.
“The city could develop an entirely new bus fleet that is electrically powered, and the TTC could use this fleet to offer lower cost or free electric vehicles to replace a portion of its current fleet of diesel buses that are not yet fully electric,” the proposal said. “This proposal would provide the city with an opportunity to rapidly implement the technology and achieve the emission reductions needed to meet a goal of zero emission transportation by 2035.”
The proposal, which was referred to the city’s transportation committee on Nov. 3, was sent to the TTC board on Nov. 16. It was supported by two members of Toronto City Council.
Last week, council approved a motion by Ward 40 councillor Kristyn Wong-Tam to allow the city to seek an electric vehicle rebate program from staff as part of a broader “rapid response” to Toronto’s commitment to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.
A request for leave by Tory MP John Baird to introduce a private member’s bill to allow the government to establish and implement such a rebate program has been filed with council.
The rebate program would be “phased in” by the start of the next council term in 2020, and the target would be set at around 40 per cent by 2030.
The city’s zero-emission transportation plan – known as the “3A” plan – sets a goal of being carbon neutral by 2035 and requires the city to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 30 per cent below 1990 levels by 2030, a target that is also part of the government’s climate change plan.
The public has until Jan. 1, 2018, to comment on the staff proposal. After that date, staff will begin the process of developing the proposal and presenting it to council.
“This is a very important issue to our current and future residents and citizens of Toronto. We are fortunate to have a very strong public transit system that provides safe and reliable service and people use that service for things like work, shopping and transit