The first of TransLink’s new New Flyer Xcelsior (XD40) 40-foot buses has arrived in West Vancouver.
TransLink contracted New Flyer Industries of Winnipeg last summer to supply the transportation authority with up to 87 buses. The initial order, for 42 buses and at a cost of $28 million, consists of 17 40-foot XD40 conventional diesel buses and 25 60-foot XDE60 articulated diesel-electric hybrid buses.
The XD40s are destined for West Vancouver Municipal Transit for its BlueBus system and delivery is to be completed by the end of this year. Delivery of the XDE60s to the Richmond Transit Centre is expected to be occur in the first half of 2013.
The XD40 and XDE60 has a capacity for 74 and 104 passengers respectively and features onboard air conditioning—at first for Metro Vancouver transit. The buses have “more forward-facing seats, bright interior LED lighting and low interior noise levels.” The New Flyer buses purchased between 1999 and 2006 all featured perimeter seating at the back instead of forward-facing seats.
The decision was made to purchase diesel buses over hybrids for West Vancouver due to the amount of hills in the city. According to TransLink spokesperson Drew Snider, “the hills would overtax the small diesel engine.”
The buses are being 90% paid for by the federal gas tax and the rest comes from TransLink’s capital expenditures budget. It is required the tax money be spent purchasing buses, but Metro Vancouver mayors are looking to change that. They want to use the roughly $120 million that goes unspent each year towards operating costs. To date, TransLink has accumulated $400 million in unspent money from the tax.
Photo Credits: Chris Cassidy/Flickr via CPTDB