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ITE Manitoba November Webinar: Highlights from Winnipeg Transit’s Zero-Emission Bus Program
November 17@12:00 pm to 1:00 pm CST
The ITE Manitoba Section is hosting an upcoming webinar on Thursday November 17th. This webinar will feature Erin Cooke of the City of Winnipeg, who will present on Highlights from Winnipeg Transit’s Zero-Emission Bus Program. The webinar will be hosted by Steven Florko of MORR Transportation Consulting Ltd., and ITE Manitoba President.
As per usual, we will begin the webinar with 15 minutes of networking in breakout groups.
Erin Cooke is an accredited Professional Engineer (P. Eng.) and Project Management Professional (PMP) with more than 18 years of experience managing technology projects in the transit and specialty vehicle industries. Erin currently oversees Winnipeg Transit’s bus electrification program, where she analyzes technological, operational, financial, and environmental considerations involved in transitioning to a zero-emission fleet. Her recently released Transition to Zero-emission Technology Evaluation Report provides the framework for Winnipeg Transit to evaluate currently available zero-emission technology and support future decisions on transit electrification. Erin founded a working group for Mid-size transit agencies in Canada working towards zero-emission transit to support electrification efforts coast to coast and chairs the Canadian Urban Transit Research & Innovation Consortium (CUTRIC) Zero Emission bus committee. She also actively participates in several NRC working groups in support of the hydrogen strategy of Canada.
Prior to her work at Transit, she both designed and led development of battery-electric and (hydrogen) fuel cell-electric transit bus projects as part of New Flyer’s New Product Development team. As an expert with extensive experience and knowledge in the development and application of zero-emission bus operations she is a frequent invited speaker for vehicle electrification and hydrogen fuel cell conferences, webinars and training programs, both in Canada and internationally.
Winnipeg Transit was an early leader in zero-emission buses, yet more than 4 years after its ground breaking trial ended there are still no zero-emission buses operating on Winnipeg streets. Battery-electric buses reduce GHGs and other pollutants; were proven to be quieter and cheaper to operate than their diesel counterparts; and were able to operate reliably year round. So why didn’t Winnipeg Transit start buying more buses immediately after the trial?
It wasn’t directly a technology problem. The demonstration project allowed all of the partners involved to learn key lessons about the construction, operation, and maintenance of battery-electric buses, but did little to assess the costs and the complexity associated with large-scale integration of buses and infrastructure into existing transit operations. Transitioning Winnipeg Transit from a diesel bus operator to a zero-emission bus operator will not be as easy as simply replacing a diesel bus with a zero-emission bus. It will require a systemic change to operations throughout the entire organization, and significant amounts of planning over the course of several years to implement.
Erin Cooke, head of Winnipeg Transit’s Bus Electrification Program, will present an overview of the program highlighting work completed to estimate future electrical loads; design in energy resiliency with solar PV generation and battery storage; the need and timing for utility updates; and share with you the challenges and lessons Transit learned through this process.