Government of Canada targets zero emission bus transportation with launch of new fund

News release

$2.75 billion available for infrastructure projects through the Zero Emission Transit Fund

Ottawa, Ontario, August 10, 2021—Better public transit helps people get around in faster, cleaner, and more affordable ways. Helping communities invest in zero-emission transit options ensures cleaner air for our kids, creates jobs and supports Canadian manufacturing.

Today, the Honourable Catherine McKenna, Minister of Infrastructure and Communities announced the launch of a $2.75 billion Zero Emission Transit Fund − a five year national program that will help communities invest in zero emission public transit and school transportation options by switching to cleaner electrical power and supporting the purchase of zero emission public transit and school buses and associated infrastructure.

This funding is part of a $14.9 billion federal investment in public transit over eight years. It will support municipalities, transit authorities and school boards as they transition to or expand the electrification of their bus fleets. It also supports the government as it delivers on its commitment to help purchase 5,000 zero emission buses over the next five years.  

What’s more, the Canada Infrastructure Bank (CIB) has committed to invest $1.5 billion in zero emission buses through its three year Growth Plan. These funds complement Infrastructure Canada’s funding for zero emission transportation through this program.

To date, the CIB has agreed to support the purchase of new zero emission public transit and school buses in such cities as Brampton, Ottawa, and Edmonton as well as in the province of British Columbia.

The Government of Canada understands that successful zero emission bus deployments require strategic planning and a sound understanding of the technological implications of bus fleet electrification. That is why we are seeking applications from not-for-profit organizations and academic institutions to partner with the Government of Canada in advancing supports for the planning of transit bus fleet electrification in municipalities and regions in Canada. Further details for interested organizations can be found on the Zero Emission Transit Fund’s website.

Investing in public transit infrastructure will build strong communities across the country and deliver a better quality of life for all Canadians. The Government of Canada is working to secure the health and safety of Canadians, rebuild businesses, and promote jobs and growth as we build toward economic recovery and a net-zero emissions future. Together, we can create a Canada that is cleaner, more competitive, and more resilient for generations to come.


“Ensuring that Canadians can enjoy cleaner air, quieter streets, and a planet safe for our kids, while tackling climate change, creating good jobs, and opportunities for Canadian manufacturers - that’s the goal of our investment in zero emission buses across Canada. Today's announcement is another step forward for smart public transit funding that delivers triple bottom line results: jobs and economic growth, a cleaner environment, and more inclusive communities.”

The Honourable Catherine McKenna, Minister of Infrastructure and Communities

“The Canada Infrastructure Bank (CIB) is pleased to support economic growth and the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions. The combination of our Zero-Emission Bus lending program, and the Department of Infrastructure’s new Zero Emission Transit Fund, will enable large-scale expansions of zero-emission fleets and supporting charging and maintenance infrastructure across Canada and provide cleaner public transportation for generations to come. The CIB will continue making investments which improve the quality of life for Canadians and support more sustainable communities.”  

Ehren Cory, CEO, Canada Infrastructure Bank

Quick facts

  • Since 2015, the Government of Canada has invested more than $18,5 billion in 1,350 public transit projects for communities across Canada - the largest public transit investment in Canadian history.

  • On February 10, the Prime Minister announced $14.9 billion in new public transit funding over eight years. Of this, the $2.75 billion investment in zero emission buses announced today will be allocated over the next 5 years starting in 2021.

  • For more detailed information, including to find out who is eligible and how to apply, please refer to the Zero Emission Transit Fund website. The Expression of Interest form is now live. Following the Expression of Interest stage, eligible applicants will be invited to submit a full application to the appropriate project stream(s): Planning and Design Projects or Capital Projects, which will open soon.

  • The Canada Infrastructure Bank (CIB) has a long-term target to invest $5 billion in public transit, including at least $1.5 billion over the next three years specifically for zero emission buses and associated infrastructure as part of its $10 billion Growth Plan.

  • Since the announcement of the $10 billion Growth Plan in October 2020, the CIB reached several partnerships with municipalities and buses operators and has approved investments for the purchase of 1,300 zero emission public transit and school buses.   

  • In the Fall Economic Statement, the Government of Canada proposed to support the economy’s clean and competitive transition by providing grants to help Canadians make their homes greener and more energy efficient. It will provide additional funds for the installation of new charging and refueling stations for zero emission vehicles and provide more support for large-scale clean power transmission projects.

  • Canada’s strengthened climate plan committed to provide public transit funding. The plan encourages cleaner modes of transportation, such as low and zero emission vehicles, transit, and active transportation, to make communities healthier, less congested, and more vibrant.

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Emelyana Titarenko
Press Secretary
Office of the Minister of Infrastructure and Communities

Media Relations
Infrastructure Canada
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