Transportation Minister Glen Murray has announced the federal government will start to phase out the TTC’s fleet of private buses, rail and trams.
The move is part of a $15-billion modernization plan that will see buses and other transit vehicles replaced by electric vehicles and electric buses in 2019.
It will mean fewer vehicles on the streets, less congestion and better public safety.
Murray said the change will mean that the TTC will be able to continue its bus service, while also ensuring it can be a viable alternative to the private buses that are used by some suburban communities.
“This is the first time we have a fully modernized fleet of public transit vehicles on this continent,” he said at a news conference in Toronto.
“It’s a great day for us as a country.”
The government will also phase out its fleet of privately operated buses and tramps in 2019, and will build new bus rapid transit lines in Toronto and Vancouver.
The changes will save taxpayers $4.5 billion over 20 years, the province said in a statement.
The change in transit policy is part a broader $15 billion plan that aims to modernize the TTC.
It includes a $2.6-billion plan to improve bus routes, which include improving the network of buses that travel along major highways.
It also includes the elimination of the TTCs fleet of older diesel buses and the replacement of some older electric buses with new ones.
Transport Minister Glen McNeil has also announced the province will end the use of buses in some neighbourhoods.
In addition, the provincial government will phase out all diesel buses, which will mean the province is cutting the number of buses it uses.
In 2019, the government will invest $2 billion in transit projects in Metrolinx, the transit agency that runs Toronto’s transit network.
The province will also spend $2 million to buy and maintain more than 4,000 buses and is building 1,100 new buses in order to add 1,000 more to the network.
In 2018, MetrolinX began rolling out buses to communities outside Toronto’s core.
But the transit system’s fleet is aging and ridership has fallen in recent years.
In 2020, the TTC said it would begin phasing out buses in Toronto, which it said would save taxpayers more than $3 billion.