By Mark Squibb / August 25, 2023
Holyrood council gave its first public update on a promised electric bus service this week without once using the phrase ‘electric bus.’
Instead, council opted to use the phrase ‘Rural Transportation Project.’
Whatever you choose to call it, the most recent news on the matter, as per this week’s update, is that staff have successfully petitioned the provincial government for $55,000 to complete an operational plan.
“That money will enable us to hire a consultant to come up with an operational plan for that project, and so we’re looking forward to doing that sometime in the fall,” explained Deputy Mayor Michele Woodford.
Mayor Gary Goobie reminded council that the federal government had funded the project, and that it was the first of its kind in the province.
Goobie also said the Town will be entering into a memorandum of understanding with the Marine Institute to help meet workers transportation needs.
“And thankfully, we’re able to do this, and it’s not costing the town,” said Goobie. “There’s nothing coming out of our operating budget.”
Deputy Mayor Woodford noted the federal government funded the specific infrastructure needed, that is to say the purchase of the electric buses, but did not include funds for an actual operation plan.
The federal government announced the funding, some $482,000 in total, this past May.
That money, along with $120,600 from the Town’s coffers, was earmarked for the purchase of two 18-passengers electric buses, a charging station, solar panels, and booking software.