Future Vehicle Purchasing, Replacement, and Expansion Plans

This page will detail known future vehicle purchasing plans, including system expansion which applies more so to the smaller transit systems around the Edmonton Region. A major requirement of this page, and really anything on Barp.ca is that it is fact based and not speculation. Sources are provided where possible, however, that may not be possible in all cases.

**The current version of this page is under development. Starting from scratch there's a lot to dig up and find my source documents again**

Beaumont Transit | Edmonton Transit Service | St. Albert Transit | Strathcona County Transit | Spruce Grove Transit |

Agency Vehicle Type Delivery Status Quantity Vendor/ Model Notes
Edmonton Transit Service 30' Low Floor Diesel 2017-18 2017 Being Delivered 49 Grande West Vicinity 6-2017, 16-2017, 33- Q1 2018
Edmonton Transit Service 40' Low Floor Diesel 2018 On Order 110 New Flyer XD40  
Edmonton Transit Service 40' Low Floor Diesel 2019 Options 120 New Flyer XD40 Options on 2018 order.
Edmonton Transit Service 40' Low Floor Battery/ Electric 2018/19 Council Approved ~25    
TransEd (Edmonton SELRT) 40.6 M LRV 2018-2020 On Order 26 Bombardier Flexity SELRT being built as P3.
St. Albert Transit 35' Low Floor Battery/ Electric 2017 In Service 3 BYD K9S35  
St. Albert Transit 30-40' Low Floor Battery/ Electric   Tendered Up to 5   Up to 5 buses in a possible combination of sizes from 30-40'
Strathcona County Transit Double Decker Diesel 2017/18 On Order 5 Alexander Dennis Enviro500  
Beaumont Transit 40' Low Floor Diesel 2017 Delivered 3 New Flyer XD40 Service starts September 5, 2017
Spruce Grove Transit 24 Passenger Cutaway Spring 2019 Funding in place 1 For local service, budget of $225,000 PTIF and GreenTRIP 2017 announced.
Spruce Grove Transit 24 Passenger Cutaway 2019-2020 Planned 4   For local service. GreenTRIP funding announced December 2015.

Replacement buses- buses purchased to replace aging buses on a 1:1 ratio
Growth buses- purchases over and above planned replacement buses to allow extra vehicles for increased or expanded service
Top up- typically funding over and above the purchase price of a standard diesel bus. Often used in relation to alternative fuel options, or for articulated buses.
GreenTRIP- Provincial (Alberta!) funding program started in 2008 to support capital projects that lowers greenhouse gas emissions. http://www.transportation.alberta.ca/5409.htm
Public Transit Infrastructure Fund- Federal funding program

Edmonton Transit Service:
ETS's current replacement plans are not exactly straight forward. The 2013 replacement plan provides a basic overview of what is planned. Since then, battery electric buses have appeared significantly on ETS's radar, CNG was sent packing (to Medicine Hat!) and quite a bit of money is available under a variety of Provincial and Federal programs. It's these grants that have influenced, and could influence ETS's bus procurement plans. The Vicinity purchase was accelerated as a result of funding, articulated buses might be purchased by topping up 40' purchases, and growth buses are an option. In addition, electric buses have a very good likelihood of joining the fleet.

Buses on order include 49 Grande West Vicinity's between 2017-2018, and 230 New Flyer XD40's for 2018-2019 (120 being options at this point). Out for tender are battery electric buses.

Current Orders and Discussion:
30'- Grande West Vicinity
. 49 units to replace Glaval Easy On, IC LC, and GMC/ Eldorado Passport fleets. This order consists of enough buses to replace all cutaway-style community buses except the 6 IC Passport HD's assuming that all Vicinity's are used as 1:1 replacement. The 33 bus order was an accelerated replacement plan with Federal and Provincial funding, and as such while there aren't specific growth buses planned, delayed retirements of buses in good condition could allow for growth buses. The 2011 Passport's would only be 7 years old and they are 10 year buses. However, ETS has cut back on the number of community service runs with the July 2, 2017 changes. The initial 6 bus order was announced in September 2016 and used budgeted funds from that year and accounts for the 6 buses in the replacement plans below. The other next 10 would have been part of the 50 for 2017. The remaining 33 are probably a combination of the planned buses for 2018-2020, probably in the range of 8-14 buses/ year.

40'- New Flyer XD40- Upate: Tender confirmed awarded to New Flyer for 110 buses in 2018 and option for 120 buses in 2019.
Old text: As we understand it the tender was awarded to New Flyer so the assumption is XD40's. The further assumption is around 40 buses based upon ETS replacement plans noted below (50 buses in 2017, 10 being Vicinity's). However, the September 2016 PTIF/ GreenTRIP funding announcement included money for growth buses as well as topping up 40' buses to 60' buses so there's no telling how that could affect the size of the 40' bus order. Delivery is unknown, but, since we only heard of the order in mid-2017 the buses could very well be delivered in 2018.

60'- Nothing confirmed, but, $1.487 million from PTIF/ GreenTRIP for top up for 40' buses to 60' buses.

LRV- 26 Bombardier Flexcity 40.6m low floor LRV: 2018- 10, 2019- 13, 2020- 3. Part of SELRT P3 project being built by TransED. While the cars won't technically be City-owned and maintained like the U-2, and SD160 fleets, they will be a part ETS network and will be City-owned at the end of the 30 year P3 cycle.

(Sources: https://www.canadianinsider.com/grande-west-receives-additional-city-of-edmonton-order http://www.newswire.ca/news-releases/grande-west-receives-13-million-order-from-city-of-edmonton-612540703.html accessed July 28, 2017)

ETS On The Horizon:
40' battery/ electric buses-
Around 25 buses for 2018-2019. They will be depot charging buses. Specifically, ETS is looking for 5 buses for 2018 and will then make a decision on 20 for the North East Transit Garage (NETG). Mitchell Garage is able to support up to 5 buses with the work done to support the 2015/ 2016 Winter electric bus trial.
60' buses via top up, 40' growth buses- See some other comments above, part of PTIF/ GreenTRIP. I'm not sure how soon the funding could allow the buses to arrive so while it's possible they could be here sooner rather than later, it's also possible the order could be more than a year away.

ETS Replacement Plans:
The below chart is circa 2013 and only accounts for replacement buses and not growth buses. Also, 30', 40', and 60' buses are all mixed in together, however, given that the majority of buses will be 40' buses it is a general idea of the replacement plans as they stood in 2013. Since then, community bus replacement was sped up. 2013 figure doesn't include the XD40 or C40LFR purchase as those were 2012 purchases.
2013 2014 2015 2016 2017 2018 2019 2020 2021 2022 2023
6 0 0 6 50 50 54 63 69 64 63
Passport HD     Vicinity XD40/Vicinity XD40/Vicinity XD40/Vicinity XD40/Vicinity      
2024 2025 2026 2027 2028 2029 2030 2031 2032 2033 Total
35 39 107 111 101 101 9 29 15 15 987

Source: Adapted from Edmonton City Council Transportation Committee Minutes July 10, 2003 CR_204 Edmonton Transit Bus - Fleet Long Term Maintenance and Replacement Plan Attachment 1 retrived July 17, 2017

St. Albert Transit- Up to 5 electric buses. Tender allows for sizes from 30-40' or a combination.

Strathcona County Transit- 3 Enviro500's, plus lowering of the driveway at the Ordze Transit Terminal to allow double deckers to travel through the terminal. This purchase will replace the remain Prevost highway coaches and make Strathcona County Transit 100% accessible and cause the retirement of the remaining Prevost coach fleet.
Sources: http://www.sherwoodparknews.com/2016/12/06/25-million-for-park-buses http://www.infrastructure.alberta.ca/3939.htm

Spruce Grove Transit- Spruce Grove Transit began a 2 phase transit review in 2011. Phase 1 looked at changes within the existing ETS contract in the short term between 2014-2018, and the Phase 2 will be a longer 10-business plan which could include different operating models beyond 2018. Work on Phase 2 was slated to start in 2015. Below we look at Phase 1.

Phase 1 was focused on changes within the existing ETS contract. A lot happened with this plan and it changed during the course of 2014. In May the plan looked like his:

Stage 1- September 2014: cut back service from U of A, make changes to improve scheduled adherence, minor route changes in Spruce Grove to improve service coverage, add a midday run from Grant McEwan in Edmonton. Stage 1 was approved in May 2014 and implemented in September 2014.

Stage 2- September 2015 (Delayed to 2016): Two options were provided. Recommended Option A would have 2 routes within Spruce Grove that then follow the same route to Edmonton with 4 trips each in the AM/PM with the 1 midday trip following the existing midday route. While recommended, it was not adopted. Option B was instead adopted which had 1 bus follow the existing Stage 1 route, but with an 8th trip added in each peak. This option was cheaper for a full year of service at $110,000 vs. $246,000 for 2 routes. Ultimately an Option C developed and that is detailed below. Stage 2 was ultimately implemented on February 13, 2017 with the introduction of the XD40 fleet on the route 562.

Stage 3- September 2016 (Delayed to 2018): New "reduced coverage" route to West Edmonton Mall that would run every hour between Spruce Grove and WEM from 17:30-22:30 Monday - Friday. The "reduced coverage" applies to the shorter routing to be used in Spruce Grove which wouldn't cover as much of an area, but would be able to be complete the circuit in 15 minutes so that only 1 bus would be needed for this service.

Stage 4- September 2017 (Delayed to 2019): Run the WEM mall route from 9:00-19:30 on Saturday on an hourly frequency.

At the June 23, 2014 City Council Meeting, as a result of the open houses in May, an Option C was present to City Council that had been developed for Stage 2.

Option C was based on the Stage 3 West Edmonton Mall route, except it would run to South Campus as well as having a stop at WEM. The plan would have 3 AM/ PM peak trips. Stage 3 would be evening service on this route, but, cut back to WEM. Option C replaced Option B as the recommended choice of Administration, and it was noted that it would only cost a little bit more than Option A, which was the cheapest, but had the greatest potential to increase ridership, as well as providing a faster route to the University of Alberta.

While Option C was planned for 2015, it was deferred until 2016 as part of the 2015-2017 Corporate Plan, this has since delayed Stage 3 to September 2018, and Stage 4 to September 2019. Further, and this is where we finally get to bus purchases, ETS indicated that they wouldn't have enough buses to support Spruce Grove service expansion. This lead to Spruce Grove developing an application for round 2 GreenTRIP funding to help with the purchase cost of their own bus fleet, including both commuter and local buses, a park and ride facility, and and a storage facility for the local buses. The identified need for local buses was for a total of 4, two each in 2019 and 2020. The current plan is to have local operations contracted out, while ETS would continue to garage, maintain, and operate the 6 commuter buses. Granted, that could change, but, the GreenTRIP business case costs out ETS's services through 2024. As a point of interest, the GreenTRIP business case shows community shuttle ("local") buses for the Saturday WEM service.

As part of a funding via the Federal PTIF and Provincial GreenTRIP, an additional local bus has been funded for Spring 2019 delivery. I actually need to investigate this a bit more to see if there's more specific plans for local service. At this point there doesn't appear to be a plan to purchase additional commuter buses, so service will continue with a mix of Spruce Grove and ETS buses.

Finally, for the sake of documenting it, life cycles given are 20 years for a 40' bus and 7 years for a 24 passenger cutaway bus. 20 years generally aligns with ETS, especially given that these buses primarily only see peak hour service at present (not including the 1 midday trip that runs into the PM peak). 20 years is generally above industry standard. ETS doesn't operate any 7 year cutaways, just 10 year cutaways. 7 years is an industry standard for that particular style of bus however.

May 21, 2014 Transit Review Council Presentation, accessed July 29, 2017
Transit Service Review Phase 1 Project Update May 14, 2014, accessed July 29, 2017
June 23, 2014 Spruce Grove City Council Meeting, Item 10.a, accessed July 29, 2017
November 14, 2014 Spruce Grove GreenTRIP Business Case 2014
"Public Transit Infrastructure Projects" accessed July 29, 2017 http://www.sprucegrove.org/services/transportation/transit/PublicTransit_InfrastructureProjects.htm
"Going green with new transit buses, park and ride" Spruce Grove Examiner December 18, 2015. Retrieved July 29, 2017

Beaumont Transit- New service starting September 5, 2017 with 3 New Flyer XD40 buses. Currently delivered to ETS.

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