City follows through on plans to purchase 300 new hybrid buses

Mayor Valerie Plante is following through on one of her major campaign promises.

The mayor and the provincial government announced Tuesday morning that 300 new hybrid buses would be added to the STM's fleet by 2020.

It would expand the number of buses on Montreal's roads to 2,107 — 15 per cent more than they have now. That represents the largest increase to its fleet in the city's entire history.

The buses would be air conditioned, and feature USB charging stations.

The buses won't come cheap — aside from the costs of ordering the new buses, they'll cost an additional $75 million per year to keep them on the roads — including maintenance costs and the cost of hiring people to drive them.

Meanwhile, there's also an issue of where to house the new buses — currently, they don't have space for them in their existing garages.