Canadian Manufacturing

Scottish bus maker to establish Ontario plant as part of Metrolinx deal

Alexander Dennis Ltd. to open chassis assembly plant as part of deal with Metrolinx for 253 double-decker buses



TORONTO—Metrolinx has signed a deal with Alexander Dennis Ltd. (ADL) to buy 253 double-decker buses that will see the Scotland-based bus maker establish a local chassis assembly facility near Toronto.

According to Metrolinx, Ontario’s Crown transportation agency for the Greater Toronto and Hamilton Area (GTHA), it has reached an agreement with the company that will see the fully accessible, low floor, double-decker buses delivered to its GO Transit arm over five years beginning in 2016.

“We are delighted to be working with Metrolinx on this further multi-year agreement,” ADL group commercial and business development director Robert Davey said in a statement released by Metrolinx.

“Our relationship goes back to 2007, and we currently have nearly 125 ADL double decks operating in the Toronto area. This latest contract will add significantly to that number, demonstrating that high-capacity double decks are not only popular with passengers but can make a unique contribution at the heart of sophisticated transport systems.”

As part of the agreement, ADL will establish a bus chassis assembly facility in the GTHA that will create as many as 30 full-time jobs.

The agreement also contains an option for Metrolinx to purchase an additional 150 buses over the five-year contract.

The new buses have a lower height than the existing buses in GO Transit’s fleet, allowing them to access the transit agency’s Hamilton, Yorkdale, York Mills and Union Station bus terminals.

Current buses cannot access the stations due to height restrictions.

The new buses also have a lower floor and a longer, more gradual entrance ramp for easier boarding and exiting, a wider area for wheeled mobility devices to manoeuvre and 120-volt charging outlets for motorized wheelchairs, and automated next-stop announcements and displays.

“We believe everyone should have access to fast, convenient and integrated transit,” Metrolinx president and CEO Bruce McCuaig said.

“These buses represent the future of our bus fleet and set a new standard for the service we provide. Their lower floors will allow customers with limited mobility to board with ease, and their lower height will allow us to bring double-decker service to all of our routes.”

Construction of the chassis facility is expected to begin in mid-2015 and the first order of buses is expected by 2016.

Financial terms of the agreement were not disclosed.

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