City of Regina introducing two articulating buses to transit fleet

The city of Regina has added two new articulating buses to its transit fleet this month.

At 60 feet, articulating buses are 20 feet longer than regular buses and bend in the middle to assist when making turns. They are commonly referred to as “stretch buses” or “accordion buses” since they have a pivoting joint in the middle that connects the two sections. They also have cameras and a permanent driver compartment barrier for the safety of operators and passengers.

Articulated buses provide accessibility features similar to current buses, including a low floor with a ramp for strollers or wheelchairs, audible stop notifications, and the Quantum mobility device securement system.

Brad Bells, the city’s director of transit and fleet services, said on Friday there are efficiencies to be gained by having 60-foot buses.

“There’s a high demand for frequency in riders and there’s an opportunity to take two 40-foot buses off the road, implement the 60-foot bus on the road, which saves one bus and one operator,” he explained.

The 40-foot bus holds 37 seats and has a standing load of about 57 people, while the articulated buses have just under 60 seats and a standing load of around 100 people. The city’s plan is to have these units on high-frequency routes such as route 18 which runs from Harbour Landing to the university.

Bells said Regina is actually one of the last major municipalities in the country to add these articulated buses to the fleet.

“A 60-foot bus gives us the opportunity to have less buses on our roads. If we can reduce some buses on streets, that helps lower our operational dollars and gives us opportunities to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.”

Bells mentioned that bus operators will be certifying themselves with these new buses over the next few weeks before they hit Regina’s roads in mid-May.

Both buses were ordered in late 2019 at a cost of $900,000 each. 40-foot buses go for a price tag of approximately $600,000 each.

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