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‘Accordion’ Buses Hit the Road

High-capacity vehicles serve busy Brock route
Posted Sept 7, 2011

The St. Catharines Transit Commission launched its first articulated buses on Tuesday to serve the busy Glenridge Avenue
route to Brock University.

There was a new sight on St. Catharines streets this week, as the transit commission began rolling out its first articulated buses.
The vehicles, which look somewhat like two buses with an accordion connecting them, were first put on the road Tuesday for Route 16, which primarily handles the busy Brock university commuter line.

Dave Sherlock, general manager of the St. Catharines Transit Commission, said the city purchased three of the used buses for $95,000 each from OC Transpo, which is Ottawa’s transit authority. He said that during peak travel periods, all three will be running from the downtown terminal, up Glenridge Avenue to Brock. And for the rest of the day, at least one will be running continuously, with others added as needed.

The buses can seat 60 passengers, compared to 39 on the typical 40-foot city buses, and can hold 100 with people standing. The articulated buses will help
eliminate the need for 40 buses being needed to run one right after the other. It should also mean passengers will no longer be left waiting at busy stops
when the buses are full — an obvious annoyance for students trying to get to class on time.

“It might not eliminate that entirely, but it’ll certainly put a big dent in it,” Sherlock said.

Sherlock said another benefit of the buses is that they’re accessible, with floors that can be lowered to allow wheelchairs to board. He said the introduction
of these new buses means that all of the city’s 22 routes can be classified as accessible and that the transit commission will no longer need to run the
inaccessible high-floor buses.

“These articulated buses have allowed us to become 100-per-cent accessible,” he said.

This means the commission is in full compliance with the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act. The act, passed in 2005, applies to both public
and private sector organizations.

To prepare for Tuesday’s launch, transit drivers have been practising, taking the new buses out for a spin, over the past month.

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