Vancouver’s largest private bus operator goes green


BYD (Build Your Dreams) Canada has been awarded an order for zero emission, battery-electric buses by Westcoast Sightseeing, the first tour company in Canada to order clean energy buses and the first to commit to having a 100% clean-energy fleet by 2023.

Battery and electric vehicle pioneer BYD is the world’s largest manufacturer of electric vehicles and batteries, and the global leader in battery-electric buses.

The largest private bus operator in Vancouver, Westcoast Sightseeing has agreed to work exclusively with BYD on converting its fleet of 90 buses, which will include open top vehicles, double and single-deckers and others. Westcoast Sightseeing will also work with the city to develop charging infrastructure that will not only benefit it but many other companies that want to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and their climate impact.

“Our business is built around the natural beauty of our home and we are especially conscious of the impact our day-to-day operations have on the environment,” said Rob Safrata, CEO of Westcoast Sightseeing. “We are proudly working towards a greener and more sustainable future. And adding electric buses and boats is the first step to achieve our goal, in 2023, of becoming the first sightseeing firm in Canada with 100% electric vehicles.”

Westcoast Sightseeing recently added electric harbor tours to its offering, providing the first harbor tour on a 100% electric boat in Vancouver.

The BYD battery-electric buses will make an immediate improvement to air quality and noise levels for the British Columbia (BC) region including delivering a reduction in carbon emissions of some 4,500 metric tons per year, based on EPA standards.

“CEO Rob Safrata has long held a clean energy vision and we are excited to be working with him,” said BYD Canada Vice President Ted Dowling. “This aligns perfectly with the recent announcement by British Columbia Premier John Horgan, of the need to find other ways to reduce emissions.”

BYD is the world leader in zero emission buses. In addition to the BC order, BYD Canada has buses on order or in operation for Société de transport de Montréal (STM) and the Réseau de transport de Longueuil (RTL) in Quebec; the Toronto Transit Commission (TTC) in Ontario; and the St. Albert (STAT) and Grand Prairie in Alberta. BYD has more electric buses on Canadian roads than any other firm.

Investing more than $250 million in North America to date, BYD has delivered more than 270 buses to the marketplace; and has sold or leased more than 600 buses to more than 50 municipal, transit agency, university, airport, federal and other commercial and private sector clients in 14 U.S. states, and across four provinces in Canada.