Have a look at Montreal's fleet of new hybrid buses
MONTREAL -- The STM is getting 830 new hybrid buses costing almost $1 billion as part of the city's plan to get more people out of their cars and onto public transit.
For the past two years, the STM has been dealing with a shortage of buses on the road because of issues at its maintenance garage, and the new buses will both replace older vehicles and bolster the fleet.
The transit authority wants to give more service than ever before.
"I think it's the main thing to make sure that you have frequency to meet the challenge that our clientele is looking for," said STM director-general Luc Tremblay.
Tremblay said that since November, the STM has put 32 hybrid buses into service, and by the end of the year will have 300 new ones on the road.
The new vehicles will mean a 5 per cent increase in overall service. The hope is to reduce crowding on some routes and take a bit of congestion out of the orange metro line.
"Build it and they will come," said Tremblay. "It's the same thing with transport en common. You have to increase service and there will be an impact on ridership."
The new buses are air conditioned, have USB ports and because of the material they're built with, will stay cleaner.
"It's making their journey easier when they take the bus and they can refuel their iPhone easily," said Tremblay, who added that the STM hopes to have an entirely electric fleet one day.
That reality, however, will require a huge increase in charging stations.
"We are talking about maybe $1 billion for all eight garage depots of the STM," he said.