TTC installs first solar-powered bus shelter in Canada
Canada's first solar-powered bus shelter was unveiled in Toronto earlier this month at the Etobicoke Civic Centre. It is the first of a total of 350 Carmanah Technologies' i-Shelter(tm) units being installed throughout Greater Toronto during July. With this project, the Toronto Transit Commission-Canada's largest transit agency, with 1.4 million riders per day-joins over 90 other transit authorities worldwide using Carmanah's solar-powered bus shelter lighting.
Carmanah Technologies CEO Art Aylesworth says the i-Shelter "is an alternative energy solution that promotes ridership and energy conservation while saving taxpayers money. For commuters, it simply means better lighting and a safer, more enjoyable trip home from work."
The company cites a number of advantages of its solar-powered technology over conventional hard-wired, grid-powered lighting. The light-emitting diode (LED)-based systems require 90% less energy than incandescent bulbs and can operate for up to 100,000 hours before replacement. They provide uninterrupted performance, even during major power blackouts. Installation is simple and low-cost, requiring no digging or trenching, no electrical permits, and creating no traffic disruption. Once installed, the lights draw all their energy from the sun and require minimal maintenance.
"When we talk about alternative energy and transportation, most people think of changing the way we power vehicles," says Aylesworth. "But solar-powered transit lighting is a cost-effective alternative; it consumes no electricity and-by encouraging people to ride transit-it cuts vehicle emissions."
In 2002, London, England became the first city to install the i-Shelter technology, and in the past year alone, London's bus ridership has risen by 7.3% while night service has increased by 16%.
Based in Victoria, BC, Carmanah Technologies manufactures proprietary LED-based lighting and illumination products for public transit, marine, aviation, roadway, industrial job site and illuminated sign applications. The company has more than 100,000 solar-powered LED lighting installations and 50,000 LED-illuminated sign installations in 110 countries.