Canadian City Adds Damera Low-Entrance Electric Bus to Transit Fleet


Damera Bus Corp. and the City of Saint John, New Brunswick, are debuting 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,” comments 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 a goal to run all Saint John Transit buses on electricity by 2040.

“Green transportation is the future of public transit systems around the world, and the City of Saint John will be a part of it,” says Mayor Donna Reardon. “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 in September 2022 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,” states Nick Cameron, chair of the Saint John Transit Commission. “It’s a big win for everyone and enhances the ease and quality of life our residents enjoy.”

Damera, a Canadian supplier of bus and transit solutions, has a wide range of zero-emission buses. It is introducing new products starting with the JEST 6-meter mini-bus and expanding into 10 and 12-meter 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 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 2%. The JEST city bus has been the transit choice throughout many European countries including Germany, France, Italy, Romania and Portugal.

“We are excited to bring the newest in electric bus technology to Canada and help put it into service here in Saint John,” mentions Roger D’Hollander, COO of 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,” adds Jessica DeLong, manager of stakeholder relations at Saint John Energy. “As a sustainable electric company, we’re dedicated to helping create a sustainable future for our city, community and province.”

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