City of Saint John Receives First Electric Transit Bus

City of Saint John receives first electric transit bus from Damera Bus Corp, a leading supplier of zero-emission buses

Today, Damera Bus Corp (Damera) and the City of Saint John, are marking the introduction of the Karsan e-JEST ­– the first electric, low entrance, 20-foot transit bus in North America – which will officially be added to the Saint John Transit fleet later this summer.

“Damera is incredibly proud to partner with the City of Saint John and Saint John Transit to bring cleaner transit to the city and support Saint John’s transition to zero-emission transportation,” said Raj Mahadeo, CEO of Damera. “Saint John Transit is establishing itself as a public transit leader by transitioning to on-demand services with these buses. The size and quiet operation of the JEST is perfectly suited for residential areas and on-demand services. We hope this serves as inspiration for municipalities across the country aiming to do the same.”

The City of Saint John is transitioning to an emission-free future with an ambitious goal to run all Saint John Transit buses on electricity by 2040.

Mayor Donna Reardon says staff and Council are onboard and ready to lead the way in New Brunswick, stating that “Green transportation is the future of public transit systems around the world, and the City of Saint John will be a part of it. We are not only a forward-thinking community, but also a forward moving one; known as a city of firsts, and for always moving forward.”

Six 20-foot JEST buses will be put into service across Saint John this September as part of the City’s Transforming Transit Program. The program, first announced in 2021, will transform the municipal transit system using electric buses and an on-demand bus service expected to be launched later this year.

“With the plan in place, customers will enjoy the luxury of riding new, electric buses, and also have a highly reliable service that allows them to schedule the arrival of their bus and know when it will deliver them to their destination. It’s a big win for everyone and enhances the ease and quality of life our residents enjoy,” said Nick Cameron, Chair of the Saint John Transit Commission.

Damera, one of Canada’s leading suppliers of bus and transit solutions, has a wide range of zero-emission buses. Damera’s team of experts has extensive knowledge and experience in the bus and transportation industry and are actively introducing products starting with the JEST six-metre mini-bus and expanding into 10 and 12-metre versions to help all levels of government achieve their net-zero goals.

The JEST city bus is a European-style, battery-powered bus with a 15-year life cycle built by Karsan, a European market leading bus and coach manufacturing company. It is equipped with a BMW power train providing an emission-free range of 210 km. The JEST has a regenerative braking system that provides energy recovery by allowing itself to recharge its batteries at a rate of 25 per cent. The JEST city bus has been the transit choice throughout many European countries including Germany, France, Italy, Romania and Portugal due to its high safety rating, passenger safety, maneuverability in tight situations and compact design.

The City of Saint John is one of several municipalities across Canada working with Damera to incorporate the JEST as they advance their fleets’ electrification. In April 2022, Saint John unveiled its plan to eliminate combustion-engine vehicles in its fleet by 2040. Over time, as buses within the fleet reach the end of their lifecycle, Saint John Transit plans to replace them with various size electric buses.

Electric buses do not produce harmful exhaust emissions or other greenhouse gases, are more energy-efficient, are quieter, provide a smoother experience for passengers, and use fewer parts than standard diesel buses making them a cost-effective and sustainable choice for public transit systems.

“We are excited to bring the newest in electric bus technology to Canada and help put it into service here in Saint John,” said Roger D’Hollander, COO, Damera. “Transitioning to clean transportation is the right thing to do for our health and environment, and it’s the smart thing to do for our communities in terms of efficiency and cost savings.”

“We are pleased to support the City of Saint John’s transition to electric buses. Replacing fossil fuel powered transit is a key step in the green energy transition and reaching net zero through electrification. As a Sustainable Electric Company, we’re dedicated to helping create a sustainable future for our city, community and province,” said Jessica DeLong, Manager of Stakeholder Relations, Saint John Energy.

About Damera Bus Corp 

Damera Bus Sales Canada Corporation (Damera), one of the leading bus suppliers in Canada, is a subsidiary of the Mississauga Bus Group of Companies. Known for its experienced team with extensive knowledge in the bus, coach and transit industry throughout Canada as well as their after-sales support, Damera is a top supplier choice within the electric and hydrogen transit and coach space as cities, municipalities and private operators move into the zero-emissions era.

About Karsan

Karsan Automotive has been producing commercial vehicles in its state-of-the-art manufacturing facilities in Bursa, Turkey since 1981 and manages the entire value chain, from R&D to production, marketing, sales and after-sales support. Karsan’s Bursa facility has the capacity to manufacture up to 19,870 vehicles a year on a single shift. As the leading brand in the electric minibus market, the e-JEST has been the best-selling model in its class in 2020 and 2021 in Europe. Karsan’s JEST, Atak, Star and e-ATA models range from six, 10, 12 and 18m fully electric buses, with some models in partnership with BMW. It has a Level-four Autonomous bus, the e-ATAK, certified and operating in Michigan, the United States, and Norway.  The autonomous e-ATAK will be introduced in Canada by Damera Bus Corp.


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