The first of the articulated buses we’ve been hearing about for months have arrived.
The city made its announcement Friday.
Winnipeg Transit bought 20 used "bendy buses," also called stretch buses, and the first one will be on the city streets on Remembrance Day.
"We have the first one and it’s going on the road Monday for training," Transit Authority head Dave Wardrop said Friday. "It won’t be seen in regular service for a few weeks."
Wardrop said the training period for bus drivers is expected to last two to three weeks. They'll roll out to passengers as they are fitted with fare boxes and communications equipment and drivers are trained to manoeuvre them.
The buses are nearly twice the size of a regular transit bus, with articulated middles that divide them in two and accommodate nearly twice the number of regular passengers -- 54 people, rather than 38. They’re also called slinky buses, for the way they bend around curves and corners.
"This additional capacity will allow Transit to provide improved levels of service during peak periods with fewer operators and buses than would be possible using regular 40-foot buses," officials said in a release. "Overall, this will result in lower costs and fuel consumption per passenger."
Transit Tom has picked the following four routes for the buses' first passenger runs: Routes 36, 54, 58 and 59, which run through the Maples and St. Vital neighbourhoods.
Winnipeg Transit purchased 20 pre-owned, 60-foot articulated buses from New Flyer Industries at less than 10 per cent of their new cost of $625,000.
"The negotiated purchase price of $53,000 (plus PST) per vehicle included delivery to Winnipeg and approximately $11,500 per bus of refurbishment to be undertaken by New Flyer Industries."