The federal government provided 1.75 million Canadian dollars (about 1.26 US dollars) through the Green Municipal Fund (GMF). Initially, the region had not been eligible for funding because the local transit operator La Régie intermunicipale de transport Gaspésie–Îles-de-la-Madeleine (RÉGÎM) does not own its buses. Instead, it subcontracts them from six private companies.
RÉGÎM first announced plans to convert the fleet to electric in 2018 but has failed to do so because of the lack of funding. The GMF covers up to 95 per cent of the cost of electric buses.
The operator then calculated it would need 7 million Canadian dollars to electrify its fleet. Why 1.75 million are now sufficient is not clear.
RÉGÎM operates 18 routes, which are between 15 and 105 kilometres long. The money will be used to procure 21 electric buses, including ten paratransit shuttles. It will also pay for 12 charging stations along the bus routes. The latter will be “shared with neighbouring participant communities,” it says on the GMF website.
It also says that “once completed, the new bus fleet is expected to make considerable environmental and cost-saving impacts, including reducing local GHG emissions by 98 per cent, decreasing energy use by 72 per cent and lowering energy costs by 64 per cent.”