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The New Flyer ARBOC Wheel Trans Buses

Text by Ameer Shash

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On July 21, 2021, the New Flyer Industries announced that it had struck a deal with the Toronto Transit Commission to supply 110 new ARBOC low floor transit buses to the TTC’s Wheel Trans fleet. The vehicles will be built by New Flyer’s subsidiary ARBOC.

The ARBOC Design

The ARBOC buses are designed to meet the specialized requirements of the TTC’s Wheel Trans service. Wheel-Trans drivers are trained to not only operate the mini-van buses of the fleet but to meet the specialized needs of passengers dealing with disabilities. The ARBOC buses have been designed accordingly, with rear-access and side-access ramps for wheelchairs, able to handle curb-side as well as road-side pickups in urban, suburban and even rural locations.

The ARBOC fleet will be designed around a Dodge ProMaster chassis and be seven metres long. The interior will feature enhanced storage and foldable seats. The passenger compartment has been enlarged to allow for greater ease of use and flexibility, with signage, lighting, audio-visual aids and ride-comfort designed to ensure rider safety and comfort.

A New Generation

The contract calls for ARBOC to supply 30 buses to the TTC by the end of 2021, with the remaining 80 buses to be delivered in 2022. This order will allow the TTC to replace its current fleet of Wheel-Trans StarTrans Senator SII LF vehicles (nicknamed “The Friendly Bus”) which were built on a Ford F-450 or F-550 chassis and entered service starting in 2009. This the face of WheelTrans will change yet again, but the new vehicles should serve riders through the remainder of the decade and into the 2030s.

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