All 49 of TransLink’s new fleet of community shuttle mini-buses have been delivered and are now operational.
According to TransLink’s The Buzzer, the rollout began in October 2019, replacing older buses. But these replacements are new models with a number of changes that improve passenger accessibility and comfort.
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It has a low floor — about a foot lower than the previous model — with a front-door deployable ramp that removes the need for stairs. For those using mobility devices, a winch helps drivers guide these passengers onto the bus.
The interior has been redesigned with a more efficient layout, there are improved seat covers that are more comfortable and easier to clean, and it has a combined heating and air conditioning unit that is more powerful than the previous mini-buses.
Additionally, the new models are quieter and vibrate less, have larger windows and upgraded emergency exits, and use LED lights for both the interior and exterior.
The public transit authority piloted this model in 2017, when it was considering improvements for its fleet replacement.
Approximately 80 minor bus routes across the region use these mini-buses, including the No. 23 Beach/Main Street-Science World Station, No. 42 Alma/Spanish Banks, and No. 68 Westbrook Village/UBC. They account for roughly 10% of TransLink’s total bus service hours.
Depending on mileage and maintenance, these buses typically have a lifespan of about five to six years before they need to be replaced.