The City of Regina is adding two articulating buses that are 20 feet longer than regular buses and bend at the middle when making turns.
A city press release said the buses are expected to go into regular service sometime in May, but residents may see them driving through the community sooner as operators begin training.
“These buses will be used on higher ridership routes or for special events, helping to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and operational expenses,” said Kim Onrait, executive director of citizen services.
Articulating buses, also known as accordion buses, are 60 feet long, meaning they can carry almost the same amount of passengers as two regular transit buses.
Brad Bells, director of transit and fleet services with the City said that typical 40-ft. buses hold roughly 37 passengers seated, and 57 standing. These new 60-ft. buses will hold about 57 people seated and around 100 standing.
Regina, Saskatoon looking to app to pilot on-demand transit service
Bells said he does believe there is need for the buses in the future and there was need for them when they were ordered in 2019 before the pandemic hit, decreasing ridership.
“We’re pretty much the last major municipality in Canada without a 60-ft. bus so we’re introducing those today,” Bells said.
The larger buses will start out on Route 18, which runs from Harbour Landing and travels to the University of Regina. Bells said that route is heavily populated with university and high school students when in-person learning is in effect.
Once large-scale events are back, Bells said this also gives Regina Transit the opportunity to put the buses in service for Rider Express, and other events such as concerts.
Bells said an articulating bus costs the city $900,000 compared to a typical 40-ft bus that costs $600,000.
Articulated buses also provide accessibility features like current buses, including a low floor ramp for strollers or wheelchairs, audible stop notifications, and the Quantum mobility device securement system.
Additionally, the buses will have cameras and a permanent driver compartment barrier for the safety of operators and passengers.