In November 2023, Green Communities Canada was thrilled to receive funding for the continuation of the Canadian Electric School Bus Alliance (CESBA). The funding for the extended program from 2024-2025 is generously provided by The McConnell Foundation, Trottier Family Foundation, and Balsam Foundation. This support will enable the alliance to work on advocacy, research, knowledge exchange, mobilization, and much more.  

“Children across the country are bearing the brunt of air pollution and greenhouse gas emissions associated with diesel school buses. Paving the way for electric school buses is an urgent issue with multiple environmental, health, and economic benefits,” said Jared Kolb, Interim Executive Director at Green Communities Canada. “Along with our partners, we are excited to continue working on this large-scale electric mobility transition.”

Read on to learn more about CESBA and what to expect in the coming years. 

Canadian Electric School Bus Alliance

CESBA is led by Green Communities Canada in partnership with Équiterre, and works in collaboration with many partner organizations from coast to coast to accelerate the adoption of electric school buses. It was launched in 2022 with the aim of securing policy commitments at the federal and provincial levels of government to enable the transition of 51,000 diesel school buses to electric by 2040. 

To date, CESBA has published significant reports and briefs, such as the Pathways for Canadian Electric School Bus Adoption, Vehicle-to-Grid and Electric School Buses, and Accelerating Electric School Bus Adoption: Watt’s Next?. The alliance has also hosted workshops on electric school bus benefits, operational myth-busting, and a just transition, and has also hosted a four-session hybrid conference

The Extended Program

In this next two-year phase of CESBA, Green Communities Canada is pleased to assume the lead role from Équiterre, with the organizations continuing to work closely in partnership. Green Communities Canada will primarily be responsible for coordinating alliance membership, leading member and steering committee meetings, hosting public events, developing and distributing materials, and conducting research. Équiterre will lead the alliance’s government relations and advocacy activities, and provide support on research, communications, and project management. 

Green Communities Canada and Équiterre will also work in partnership with the steering committee, which is composed of regional organizations who represent the Maritimes, Ontario, and British Columbia, including Ecology Action Centre, Ecology Ottawa, Pollution Probe, and For Our Kids

Over the next two years, we seek to accomplish the following outcomes:

  • A strengthened network of partners involved in school bus electrification across Canada and North America;
  • Increased knowledge transfer and sharing of best practices around school bus electrification;
  • Increased awareness on the social and environmental justice issues related to the ESB transition; and
  • Increased federal policy support for the electrification of school transportation.

Our key activities will be:

  • On-going member recruitment;
  • Steering committee and members’ meetings;
  • Expansion of the online resource library;
  • Blog posts, email updates, and social media campaigns;
  • A research report on equity issues in the rollout of ESBs;
  • A research report on issues related to ensuring a just ESB transition;
  • An advocacy strategy and meetings with government stakeholders; and
  • An updated recommendations report.

Equity Research

Based on our research and observations over the past two years, we identified an unequal distribution of electric school buses in communities across Canada. We also recognized that inequities in the student transportation systems of today will persist through the electric transition, and potentially, cause additional harm if these inequities are not fully understood and addressed. 

To address this, Green Communities Canada is leading a research project related to the equitable distribution of electric school buses. The research is set to include a literature review, rollout audit, community engagement, and recommendations. The key outputs will include a research summary report and an equity & reconciliation action plan for electric school buses. 

Rolling Forward

The alliance has helped raise the profile of electric school buses across Canada, and has advanced the issue with decision-makers and relevant actors. There is a great deal of positive momentum towards the adoption of electric school buses, and with an extended alliance, there is exciting potential for an accelerated transition. 

Keep an eye out for future reports, events, resources, good-news stories, and maybe even an electric school bus near you! Visit for more information and relevant updates. 

Thank you to our funders The McConnell Foundation, Trottier Family Foundation, and Balsam Foundation

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