TransLink confirms order for 53 new community shuttle buses

Dec 21 2020, 12:25 pm

TransLink has contracted the local distributor for Indiana-based ARBOC Specialty Vehicles, a subsidiary of New Flyer Industries Group, to provide 53 new fully accessible, low-floor bus vehicles for its community bus fleet.

The company announced the order from Metro Vancouver’s public transit authority last week, which is a firm order for the 27-ft-long “Spirit of Freedom” bus model, consistent with existing community shuttle buses.

“As the first bus of its kind, the Freedom is built on a GM G4500 chassis with spring suspension and is an accessible non-kneeling cutaway bus that features an entry ramp, located in a single non-discriminatory entranceway, eliminating the need for riders to navigate steps while entering the bus,” said Doug Minix, general manager of ARBOC, in a statement.

This past spring, a previous order of 49 low-floor community shuttle buses from ARBOC for replacing aging vehicles became fully operational. Depending on mileage and maintenance, these community buses typically have a lifespan of about five to six years before they need to be replaced.

In 2018, Canadian bus manufacturing giant New Flyer, the longtime supplier of TransLink’s conventional buses, acquired ARBOC, and then in 2019 it also acquired Scottish bus builder Alexander Dennis, which is perhaps best known for building double-decker buses in London and Hong Kong.

Including the ARBOC community shuttle buses and the Alexander Dennis double-decker buses, the New Flyer group of companies has provided TransLink with over 1,200 buses over the past three decades.

An additional 25 double-decker buses from Alexander Dennis in 2021 will grow TransLink’s double-decker bus fleet to 57 vehicles.