Government of Canada, CUTRIC, and FortisAlberta support a planning project to transition to zero emission vehicles

News release

Edmonton, Alberta, January 31, 2024 — Communities across the country are developing strategies to minimize greenhouse gas emissions, including lowering carbon emissions from public transportation.

Today, Minister Randy Boissonnault, Curtis Eck, Vice President of Engineering at FortisAlberta, and Josipa Petrunic, President and CEO of the Canadian Urban Transit Research & Innovation Consortium (CUTRIC), announced a combined investment of $550,092 for the Alberta Municipality Constellation project.

The Alberta Municipality Constellation project is a comprehensive study to inform the procurement and deployment of zero emission buses for nine transit agencies — Airdrie, Banff/Bow Valley, Fort Saskatchewan, Hinton, Leduc, Rocky View, Spruce Grove, Strathcona County, and Whitecourt — in Alberta through the assessment of economic, technical, and environmental elements associated with this transition. The study, led by CUTRIC and FortisAlberta, is conducted in collaboration with local municipalities and the Ontario Society of Professional Engineers (OSPE). The project will guide local transit agencies in planning for the integration of zero emission buses in the coming years and provide a modeling study of regional energy requirements to ensure needs can be met. Once completed, the results will be shared with all participating communities, extending the benefits of this important project.

By investing in the electrification of Canada’s public transit systems, the Government of Canada is making clean and affordable transportation available in communities across Canada, growing our country’s economy, and improving the lives of Canadians.


“When we invest in Alberta, we must consider both the current and the future generations of our province. Our government remains committed to achieving net zero by 2050, and we will achieve this goal by funding clean public transit projects, such as this collaboration with FortisAlberta, OSPE, CUTRIC and local transit agencies. This project will foster a cleaner, quieter, and more efficient commuting experience for Albertans, all while advancing our collective efforts to combat climate change.”

The Honourable Randy Boissonnault, Minister of Employment, Workforce Development and Official Languages, on behalf of the Honourable Sean Fraser, Minister of Housing, Infrastructure and Communities

“We are committed to assisting municipalities within our service area in their efforts to decarbonize their transit fleets. Our collaboration is designed to offer a comprehensive analytical framework that evaluates economic impacts and devises energy management strategies for seamless integration into Alberta’s electrical grid. Leveraging our proficiency in distribution grid planning, FortisAlberta will evaluate and mitigate challenges related to grid capacity and voltage constraints associated with municipal fleet decarbonization. This initiative will facilitate the efficient and effective utilization of current distribution infrastructure, ensuring a sustainable transition to greener transit solutions.”

Curtis Eck, Vice President - Engineering, FortisAlberta

“This first-of-its-kind project symbolizes the power of collaboration, bringing together municipalities and FortisAlberta to pave the way for zero-emission vehicles in the years ahead. Through this endeavour, we aim to not only address the evolving energy needs of these regions, but also serve as a catalyst for positive change in the realm of sustainable transportation. We are confident that the outcomes of this study will guide our partner agencies in strategic planning and decision-making, fostering a cleaner, greener future for communities in Alberta. We at CUTRIC are excited to lead the way toward innovative and climate-friendly public transportation."

Josipa Petrunić, President and CEO of the Canadian Urban Transit Research & Innovation Consortium 

“The Bow Valley Regional Transit Services Commission is committed to further the introduction of low emission vehicles and the related infrastructure into our region. Operating in and around Banff National Park, it is critical that we respect the environment and are on the leading edge of reducing emissions in the operation of our transit services. Involvement in the Fortis and CUTRIC project is a critical step to informing our continued transition journey and we are excited to be a part of this initiative!”

Martin Bean, CEO, Roam Transit

"Our partnership with FortisAlberta and other municipalities for the electric bus feasibility study reflects our commitment to a more sustainable future. We're grateful for the support from Infrastructure Canada's Zero Emission Transit Fund. Airdrie is on the path to sustainable and efficient public transportation."

Mayor Peter Brown, City of Airdrie

Quick facts

  • The Government of Canada is contributing $440,074 to this project through the Zero Emission Transit Fund (ZETF) FortisAlberta is contributing $110,018

  • Nine communities in Alberta are part of this study: Airdrie, Banff/Bow Valley, Fort Saskatchewan, Hinton, Leduc, Rocky View, Spruce Grove, Strathcona County, Whitecourt. The study will help guide these communities in planning for a transition to zero emission buses.

  • The ZETF helps communities transition to zero emission transit and school buses to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and contribute to Canada’s net-zero emissions targets. By electrifying their bus fleets, communities are working toward a cleaner environment for our kids while supporting Canadian manufacturing. 

  • The Fund is closely coordinated with the Canada Infrastructure Bank’s Zero-emission Bus Initiative through which the CIB has committed more than $1.5 billion to supporting the deployment of zero emission buses.

  •  The Government of Canada is investing billions of dollars to provide predictable federal public transit funding which will be available to support reliable, fast, affordable, and clean public transit solutions beginning in 2026-27. The ZETF complements Canada’s strengthened climate plan: A Healthy Environment and a Healthy Economy. The plan commits the federal government to providing permanent federal funding for public transit in support of making clean and affordable transportation options available in every community.

  • Through an agreement with CUTRIC, the Government of Canada is investing $10 million through the ZETF over five years to help transit bus operators to complete planning work and increase their level of readiness to transition to zero emission bus fleets.

  • CUTRIC’s mission is to support the commercialization of technologies through industry-led collaborative research, development, demonstration, and integration projects that bring innovative design to Canada’s low-carbon smart mobility ecosystem.

Associated links


For more information (media only), please contact:

Micaal Ahmed
Communications Manager
Office of the Minister of Housing, Infrastructure and Communities
(343) 598-3920

Media Relations
Infrastructure Canada
Toll free: 1-877-250-7154
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Web: Infrastructure Canada

Media relations
Peter Brodsky
Public Affairs Manager, Corporate Communications
(403) 514-4040

Media Relations
Canadian Urban Transit Research & Innovation Consortium (CUTRIC)
Rachael D’Amore
Talk Shop Media

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