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One bus in, one bus out

'We were lucky to pick up a bus worth half-a-million dollars for $150,000. That was a great move by staff recognizing the opportunity' Mark King Chair Community Services

North Bay City Transit has added to its fleet of buses.

Chair of Community Services, Mark King, says the city got a deal on its most recent purchase.

“This was actually a unique opportunity because the bus only had about 1,000 kilometres on it. It’s a 2009. It was used as a demo throughout Ontario, but it was electrically powered,” said King.  

“So in order to sell the bus, the manufacturer refitted it with a brand new engine, transmission. We were lucky enough to pick up a bus worth a half-million-dollars, for $150,000. That was really a great move by staff recognizing the opportunity.”

John Severino, managing director of community services, says the city has a history with the company involved.

“When we were offered this bus, it was the same firm that we had a pilot going on a refurbishment. This was a bus that was being used as a hybrid at trade shows, where it was on display. So they converted it to a straight diesel system. It’s no different from our current buses, other than it was originally a hybrid.”

The fleet will be reduced by one to make room for this newer model, replacing one of the 12-year-old buses.

“In fact, we are reducing our fleet from 22 to 21. As part of our transit review a couple of years ago, when we had adjusted and re-engineered some of the routings, we had indicated that if we were able to successfully transition, we thought we could reduce the fleet by one. Working with the fleet group, they have been able to manage with the lower spare ratio, so we’ve come to the conclusion we can manage with the 21 rather than 22 buses,” said Severino.  

“We’re on about a 12-year rotation and most years we’re cycling two new buses into the system, and the odd year we’re cycling one into the system. So in terms of capital, it means over 12 years we would save $560,000 plus dollars."

The reduction in fleet does not impact current routes.

“When we made the adjustments, we had the inclination that because it was introducing some routing efficiencies, that we could probably reduce the number of buses we had by one, and still manage the system effectively. We wanted to run it for a year too, to make sure that was the case, to make sure that we could run it efficiently and we came to the conclusion that yes, we are able to reduce the fleet by one,” said Severino.   

“We had our fleet people thoroughly inspect it to ensure there was nothing that would be a surprise. It checked all the boxes. We were satisfied with its condition.”