Tag Archives: New Flyer

New articulated HSR buses ordered for 2019


The City of Hamilton and the HSR have put in an order for more articulated buses.

The order will see eleven new New Flyer XN60 buses added to the fleet. The order is for early 2019 delivery. These buses will replace all of the remaining 0600 articulated buses (6 buses remain) as well as replace five other 40′ buses.

The replacement of standard 40′ buses with articulated 60′ buses will help expand capacity.

Articulated buses are used primarily on routes 1 KING (weekends), 5 DELAWARE (weekends) 10 B-LINE EXPRESS, 25 UPPER WENTWORTH (weekends), 26 UPPER WELLINGTON (weekends) 27 UPPER JAMES, 35 COLLEGE, and 51 UNIVERSITY.  The buses are also typically used on special event shuttles and the TICATS EXPRESS.

No New Articulated Bus Orders Planned

New Flyer XN60 | Photo from New Flyer

The City of Hamilton approved an order for new 60′ Natural Gas articulated buses last June, which should arrive in the next few months. But after this latest order there are no further planned purchases of articulated buses.

The question arose after the Metrolinx Transit Procurement page listed Hamilton on the list for 60′ articulated, 40′ regular as well as mini-buses.

Mini-buses are used on several low volume routes including 12 WENTWORTH, 18 WATERDOWN and 52A DUNDAS LOCAL.

The information listed on the Metrolinx page is incorrect.

Committee Approves Articulated CNG Buses for 2015

New Flyer XN60 | Photo from New Flyer

New Flyer XN60 | Photo from New Flyer

At the May 22nd Public Works Committee meeting, Don Hull and the transit staff once again presented the cost benefits of purchasing 60′ natural gas (CNG) articulated buses as opposed to the traditional bus replacement order of 40′ diesel buses.

With the lesser cost of natural gas fuel, and the ability to hedge the source of fuel in advance, the city would look to save approximately $1.9 million in fuel savings for the 35 buses to be ordered over the next two years.

One of the concerns with Councillors was if there was the need for the additional cost of articulated buses rather than traditional 40′ buses. The cost for one 60′ bus will cost the city $861,000 a piece while a 40′ bus costs just $553,000. While that savings seems like an easy choice up front, the reasoning for purchasing articulated buses is in the increase of passenger capacity without additional operating costs. While the up front cost is higher for articulate buses, the HSR would need to run three 40′ buses to have the same capacity as just two 60′ buses. That would mean buying, fueling and paying a driver for the additional bus.

Staff Looking towards Articulated CNG Buses

New Flyer XN60 | Photo from New Flyer

New Flyer XN60 | Photo from New Flyer

Public Works staff presented a proposal today at the Public Works Committee to seek authorization to purchase eighteen 60′ articulated buses for the 2014 bus replacement order, instead of the 40′ buses. The presentation also included ordering buses fueled with natural gas (CNG) rather than diesel fuel, which is the fuel source in most of Hamilton’s current bus fleet.

The articulated buses would cost $15.5 million for the eighteen buses while traditional 40′ buses would cost the city $8.76 million.

The reasoning for the order are two-fold. Purchasing articulated buses will allow the HSR to increase capacity on several routes that continue to experience overcrowding and bypassing of intending transit users, most notably 2 BARTON and in the King-Main corridor. Articulated buses allow for extra capacity without the extra expenditure of more buses on the road and more drivers. The reasoning for the change proposal from diesel to natural gas is primarily a cost savings.

HSR Gets a Special Visit

New Flyer XN60 | Photo from New Flyer

New Flyer XN60 | Photo from New Flyer

At a recent public works committee meeting city staff reccomended that future orders of HSR buses (2014 and beyond) be comprised of Natural Gas buses, citing the rising costs of diesel fuel and the lower cost of natural gas.

Another call out from transit users is for more articulated buses in the system to handle the over capacity on some routes. Add into the mix the newest buses in the fleet, the Xcelsior, and you get the visitor that arrived at the Mountain Transit Centre on May 13th.

A 60-foot articulated Xcelsior bus, powered by natural gas, made a brief stop at Hamilton’s HSR mountain garage en route to the delivery to Akron, Ohio’s Metro Bus fleet. The stop allowed the maintenance department to get a look at a CNG artic.

There hasn’t been any commitment on what buses will be purchased when the orders for 2014 replacement buses are ordered, but it’s a safe bet that natural gas powered articulated Xcelsior buses are top of mind.