Author: Hannah

Toronto’s Green Transportation Strategy Is a Good Start

Toronto’s Green Transportation Strategy Is a Good Start

Electric vehicle rebate among staff proposals to speed up Toronto’s target to become a carbon neutral city

Toronto’s staff is recommending that the city move to zero-emission transportation by 2050. They want to eliminate all greenhouse gas emissions from the city’s transportation system by 2050. But the city council is moving slowly, at best, with a plan to have most of the city’s buses in electric-only operation by 2040.

That’s the problem. The council is proposing to delay the electrification of bus services for at least five years.

The “green” transportation strategy adopted by the municipal government says it’s going slowly because “there are many barriers to electrification.”

“Electric vehicle rebates, parking permits, access to charging stations, etc. are barriers. And until we address them, it is unlikely that we will meet the 2050 greenhouse gas reduction target we proposed in the city Charter.”

So the council isn’t doing anything yet. But we know the Council’s in for a long haul to get electrification, and its not even electric vehicles, but electric buses, that will have to be built by the end of this decade. It will be some time before Council agrees to put the idea on the table, and it will probably be years before we see any buses in the streets with no, or very few, emissions. But the strategy set out by the staff, and advocated by the Mayor’s Office, is not only a start, it’s a very good start.

“Many of the City’s own staff have been working on the electrification strategy for several years,” says Mayor John Tory. “It is in the hands of the City to move forward, and build out the plan accordingly.”

The Ontario government’s new Greenhouse Gas Reduction Plan, which is also making headway for the first time, calls for making it an electric-only city. But Toronto is not there yet. It

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