Bendy buses to hit Winnipeg streets next month

Bus ridership is rising in Winnipeg, and now the city’s transit service is deploying large, articulated buses to help deal with the extra people.

Bus ridership growing every year in city, Winnipeg Transit official says

Articulated buses like this one will hit Winnipeg streets next month. (Richard Drew/The Associated Press)

Bus ridership is rising in Winnipeg, and now the city’s transit service is deploying large, articulated buses to help deal with the extra people.

Four bendy buses will be on city streets in November, with another 16 to go into service next year.

Bus ridership has been going up by about three per cent each year in Winnipeg, that’s double the rate that the city itself is growing at.

Dave Wardrop is the director of Winnipeg Transit. He said the bendy buses will be deployed during peak times on major routes.

Wardrop added the city got a great deal on the buses from Ottawa.

“The units we purchased are the same series of bus that we operate in our current fleet,” he said.

When the buses were purchased, there was some concern about mechanical issues. OCTranspo, Ottawa's public transit service, had to pull 48 articulated buses off the road in 2010 because finding a major defect that could result in a cracked engine mount. 

Wardrop said transit is “very comfortable operating and maintaining [the buses.]”

Next year, Winnipeg Transit will start testing electric hybrid buses through a free-trial with partners New Flyer, Manitoba Hydro and Mitsubishi.

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