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DRT rolls out first articulated bus

Durham Region Transit rolled out its first articulated bus onto Durham’s streets. It will be travelling along the PULSE 900 route along Highway 2. The 60-foot bus has a capacity of about 80 passengers, however, due to COVID-19, the number of passengers will be limited to 55. (Photo courtesy of DRT)

By Courtney Bachar/The Oshawa Express/LJI Reporter

Durham Region Transit’s first articulated bus made its debut as it rolled out onto Durham’s streets yesterday.

The “accordion” bus is the first of six articulated buses that will be joining DRT’s fleet.

DRT General Manager Bill Holmes announced the rollout of the first articulated bus at a recent Transit Executive Committee meeting.

“The vehicle has been very well received both by operations staff and the public,” says Holmes. “We look forward to our articulated fleet really supporting our capacities along the pulse route in the coming months.”

DRT announced it would be getting six articulated Nova buses for the PULSE 900 Highway 2 route in June 2019.

Although planned for an early 2021 rollout, according to Audra McKinley, DRT deputy general manager of maintenance, the articulated buses were received earlier than originally expected and ready for service ahead of schedule.

She says DRT’s training team have been providing training for its operators since the first articulated bus arrived in the spring, and will continue the training program until all operators have successfully completed the program.

“The arrival of the articulated buses in the DRT fleet provides increased capacity on the DRT PULSE line,” says McKinley. “Although we are limiting the number of customers to approximately 55 on the articulated buses, this provides an increase of about 20 people compared to the conventional buses.”

She notes if it weren’t for the COVID-19 pandemic, the regular capacity is about 80, including standees.

Compared with a 40-foot standard bus, the 60-foot articulated buses are “well-suited for the constant onboarding and disembarking along the PULSE route, as they have more doors through which passengers can safely exit,” states a DRT press release.

McKinley says the rest of the articulated buses slated for DRT are scheduled to arrive in mid-2021.