The federal Liberals are setting aside some of the billions of dollars planned in short-term transit spending to help municipalities further green their bus fleets.
Infrastructure Minister Catherine McKenna says the grant money is supposed to help cover the upfront cost of purchasing electric buses to replace the diesel-powered ones rumbling through Canadian streets.
She says federal funding has helped cities buy 300 buses and the government hopes the funding will help them add 5,000 zero-emission buses over the next five years.
But she acknowledged there are added costs that need to be addressed, including having charging stations on transit routes and in existing depots.
The Liberals are hoping cities then turn to the Canada Infrastructure Bank to finance the cost of the remaining work.
The Liberals are promising billions in permanent transit funding as part of a post-pandemic recovery, including $3 billion annually in a transit fund starting in five years.
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