Stephen Rees's blog

Thoughts about the relationships between transport and the urban area it serves

TransLink signs deal for 25 new hybrid buses

with 6 comments

The Vancouver Sun announces that Translink is going to replace 25 buses. This is not exactly news – but then its the summer and the “silly season” when anything will do to fill the paper. Bus life in North America is around 18 years – in terms of a life cycle cost analysis – but in the US transit authorities can use their federal funding to get replacements after 12 years. Or at least they could, if that hasn’t fallen to the steady assault on public spending in general mounted by Republicans in Congress over the last few years. So the “aging buses, the majority of which are diesel-powered and date back to the mid- to late 1990s” are due. If you can’t make the sums add up, remember that there is a “lead time” between the date the bus is ordered and when it is delivered. I am out of the loop now, but at one time it was as long as two years.

The very odd insertion of the phrase “majority of which” makes me wonder if Richmond is really the origin of the buses being replaced. All of the Richmond buses are diesels. The only other power sources for Translink buses are electricity – all the trolleybuses are in Vancouver – and compressed natural gas all based in Port Coquitlam. There may be a few of the experimental buses used for fuel comparison trials still around. Oakridge seems to be the lair where these oddities have languished. CMBC’s coy habit of putting green canvas on its fences limits what can be seen from the outside, but maybe some insiders will comment below.

The Sun uses a crude graphic from the old MoT press guff about rapid bus for the new Port Mann. I wonder if a sub-editor is being pointed in the choice of picture. You get the benefit of the extensive Rees Archive of transit bus photos on flickr

Translink R7150 Steveston 2007_0429

Due for Replacement: New Flyer diesel 40′ low floor – seen in Steveston
my photo on flickr

Translink R8076 D60LF on 98 B Line Richmond BC 2007_0708

Or possibly the articulated 60′ version bought for the #98 B Line and now used on the #480 UBC and the Tsawassen ferry service
my photo on flickr


Current generation of New Flyer Hybrid arctic 60′ used for UBC services – likely the replacement model
my photo on flickr

More information from Canadian Manufacturing

Written by Stephen Rees

July 21, 2012 at 4:08 pm

Posted in transit

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6 Responses

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  1. Nothing to do with big town Vancouver buses, but it is interesting to see what a small town like Eugene (OR) with a population of 150 000 can do. The buses use an Hybrid propulsion system (?). Of course it doesn’t please at all the many local people that worship at the twin churches of the car and the “open carry” (the later doesn’t mean an open can of beer but a gun)…

    It also can also hardly be an incentive for the average suburbanite to abandon their car when there is one line only so far, with a l-o-n-g stretch of the route going through a business park and a hospital both built in a very rural area..something like the more remote parts of Abbotsford… It does work well for the University students…and more lines are planned.

    Red frog

    July 21, 2012 at 10:43 pm

  2. See for more details about the hybrid propulsion and other facts about the EMX buses. I should have mentioned that a 1 day pass cost me 3 $ US. Funny enough the machine refused to take my 5 $ bill…I was willing to pay more, but it was “exact change only” so I had to have a coffee in the public library next door…

    This very modern good looking bus (with seats in a velvety fabric with a vaguely Art Deco pattern) contrast with the Amtrak station nearby– a mere 15 minutes walk –that doesn’t even have platforms! There is relatively smooth asphalt area in front of the station but while the station is wheelchair accessible the train is not!

    Red frog

    July 22, 2012 at 12:02 am

  3. Dirt the article say that the buses would be New Flyer’s Invero. New Flyer specially designed that model for Eugene and Cleveland busways. Brampton, Ontario also has Invero buses on its Queen Street busblanes, which are furnished with decent shelters, similar to those that the 98 B-line had in Richmond. The hybrid bus you show has a D40FL body and is less attractive than the Invero.


    July 27, 2012 at 6:47 pm

  4. Sorry, that should have read DE60FL.


    July 27, 2012 at 6:50 pm

  5. Well, if you are going to be picky that’s a DE60FLR 😉

    Stephen Rees

    July 27, 2012 at 7:33 pm

  6. Great! Currently, the 25 buses are for Richmond, and an additional 17 non-articulated buses are replacements for West Vancouver 40” buses(D40LF) The 25 articulated buses are not the same as the current generation as New Flyer dropped the LFR buses. They are being replaced with Xcelsior buses. By the way, the photo on the top is a 1995 D40LF buses (like the ones the 17 buses are replacing), the one in the middle is the 2000 D60LF and the hybrid one is a DE60LFR.


    July 28, 2012 at 10:10 pm

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