Fleet renewal begins for Moncton's aging buses

The City of Moncton is going to start renewing its aging bus fleet.

City plans to spend $7 million to buy 13 new buses for Codiac Transpo over next 5 years

The City of Moncton is going to start renewing its aging bus fleet.

Some of  Codiac Transpo's buses have been on the road for close to 20 years.  It's the oldest bus fleet in the province with buses being on average 13 years old.

The average age of the bus fleet in Saint John is a little more than 11 years old, and Frank McCary, the general manager of Saint John's transit service, says his buses already have too many kilometres on them.

"Our average fleet age is now about 11.36 years old, which is really too old," he said. "The average age should be about nine years."

The average age of the Fredericton transit fleet is nine years.

Moncton intends to buy 13 new buses over the next five years, at a cost of almost $7 million.

Codiac Transpo officials were not available for an interview on the topic. But George Turple, president of Amalgamated Transit Union Local 1290 in Moncton,  said new buses for the city is good news.

"It's really an inevitable process that every transit system has to go through," said Turple. "They have to renew their fleet."

Turple said the older the buses are, the more maintenance they require, resulting in time spent off the road for repairs. He said fuel costs are also higher with older buses.

"It has come time that they have to do this," said Turple. "The return on their dollar will be good.

"As well, as you start buying newer vehicles you start spending a lot less on maintenance and the cost of maintenance labour, parts and overhaul of motors and rear ends and transmissions," he said. "That stuff becomes very expensive."

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