Canadian Consulting Engineer

HDR to develop electric bus transition plans across Ontario

May 13, 2022

Each of 13 agencies will receive a customized report.

Electric bus charging station

Photo courtesy HDR.

Ontario’s Metrolinx has chosen consulting engineering firm HDR to provide battery-electric bus transition plans for 13 transit agencies across the province.

HDR’s zero-emissions specialists will work with the agencies to understand the targets and local policies that will affect their timelines for full-fleet bus electrification. Then, each agency will receive a customized report outlining route modelling, schedule optimization, facility assessment and municipal fleet analysis.

For the modelling, HDR will use its proprietary Zero+ fleet-optimization and EconMoves decision-support tools. These integrated tools are customizable across different transit systems, geographies, climates and fuel technologies and will allow planning teams to evaluate alternative capital and operating scenarios within defined financial parameters.

“Upfront planning and detailed analysis will give decision-makers in these communities the information they need to design a clear and implementable road map to full electrification,” says Rob Mowat, HDR’s transportation electrified mobility practices leader, who will serve as project leader for the Ontario studies.


The participating municipalities are Barrie, Belleville, Chatham-Kent, Cobourg, Collingwood, Greater Sudbury, Kingston, Milton, Orangeville, Sault Ste. Marie, Stratford, Thunder Bay and Windsor. Metrolinx is acting as a central procurement agency on their behalf. Combined, the agencies operate 460 vehicles on 137 routes, with an average annual ridership of more than 31 million passengers.

“Transitioning to a fully electric fleet is a complex endeavour that expertise in transit planning, energy modelling, power delivery, electric vehicle (EV) charging infrastructure, bus maintenance facility design, economics and finance,” says Jonathan Chai, HDR’s transportation planning lead for Canada and project manager for the studies. “These agencies are making a long-term investment toward a better future for their communities.”


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