York Region Set To Sign $50 million Bus Deal

It was reported in recent editions of York Region community newspapers that the region is set to sign a deal worth up to $50 million for additional buses for the  Viva fleet over the next five years.

The initial order is for fifteen 18.2 metre long buses at a cost of just under $1 million each to be delivered in 2010. This contract will be with Nova Bus, a division of Volvo, who was the only real contender in the bidding process. Seven companies picked up the RFP, which closed in May, but only two companies responded. The other company to respond was New Flyer, but they failed to meet the 25% Canadian content that was a necessary requirement in order for the region to receive upper-level government funding. Nova Bus is actually providing 48% Canadian content, and their bid scored the highest technical score and lower submission price by about $1 million. The contract will allow the purchase of up to an additional 36 buses until 2014. 

Van Hool, the manufacturer of the current fleet of Viva buses, was  not able to bid. I suspect this may have been due to the Canadian content requirement. Some regional councillors were disappointed they were unable to bid, given the level of satisfaction with the two models (12 metre newA330  and 18 metre newAG300) purchased from them in the current fleet.

There will be some similarities in design with the  newAG300 buses in use on the Blue route, but one notable difference is that the Nova Bus models will have rear-located engines. The newAG300s have centrally-located engines, providing a quiet rear seating section, which are popular with customers.

The base price for each new bus is $902,234 plus GST.  I’m guessing that HST won’t apply because this will be considered “transitional” as the contract will be signed before the HST comes into effect. There will be an additional $35,000 in optional enhancements to ensure the vehicles are up to Viva’s design standards. My calculations make that $984,095.70 total per bus, or $49,204,785 for a contract of 51 buses.

Council will vote on the proposal at its October 22 meeting.

2 Responses to “York Region Set To Sign $50 million Bus Deal”

  1. Daniel Robitaille Says:

    A link to the online version of that newspaper article:

    Cal’s comment: Thanks - I couldn’t find it a couple of hours ago. Of course, I assumed the article online would have the same headline (or a subset of it) as the article in the Richmond Hill Liberal - you know what they say about assuming!

  2. City boy at heart Says:

    Cal, Will these be similar to the Novas that are used by Brampton Transit, especially on YRT route 77 (Highway 7-Centre Street). I first saw the Nova buses in Sherbrooke, Quebec about 5 years ago and was impressed with them. At that time during my visit there, I did not see anything but the Nova buses operating there. Very sleek.

    Cal’s comment: I don’t have any more details on what model is being purchased. If I get anything, I will post it here.