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TTC grounds its articulated buses



Update — Friday, April 28, 7:04 a.m.: Most — if not all — of the articulated buses were available for rush-hour service this morning.


ttc-9081-finchrocket-2014.jpg

TTC Nova low floor articulated bus #9081 prepares to leave Finch station in service on the 199 FINCH ROCKET on October 8, 2014. Photo by Mark David.

This evening, Thursday, April 27, the TTC has withdrawn from service all 153 of its 18-metre (60-foot) NovaBus LFS articulated buses, after one of the buses unexpectedly accelerated during routine maintenance late this afternoon.

Also, an operator who was returning one of the buses to Malvern Garage today due to faulty doors experienced a similar full-throttle situation that required him to quickly regain control of the vehicle. No injuries were reported and no passengers were aboard the bus.

The TTC immediately advised Nova, the bus manufacturer.

Nova has come up with a software fix; however it takes about 20 minutes per bus to complete and Nova can’t apply the solution across the entire fleet by tomorrow morning’s service.

TTC staff are in the process of developing a service plan for the morning rush hour (and afternoon rush, if necessary), since pulling 153 articulated buses from service will significantly impact the bus network. The buses each carry 77 passengers when full.

The TTC is reallocating its 12-metre (40-foot) buses, which have not experienced this problem, across all seven TTC garages to reduce the impact on passengers tomorrow. Nevertheless, passengers can expect to wait longer for their buses because of this issue.

The buses usually operate along the 7 Bathurst, 29 Dufferin, 36 Finch West, 85 Sheppard East, 53 Steeles East express and 41 Keele routes.