History of the Articulated Bus in Edmonton

Currently, all 3 transit system in the Edmonton area operate articulated buses. St. Albert was the first system to purchase any articulated buses, but Edmonton Transit had demoed them going back to the Volvo and MAN's of the late 70's. This page is meant to provide a brief history of all of the articulated transit buses that have ran on the streets of Edmonton.

As mentioned above, the articulated bus in Edmonton goes back to the late 1970's when 3 foreign buses, 1 built by Volvo, and 2 by MAN, were both tested in Edmonton and Calgary.
Edmonton had the Volvo, numbered 101, from around August 1977 until about July 1978. It is believed that this buses body was built by another builder.

#101 operating on route 69 Millwoods.

The MAN's followed for a year of service in mid 1978. Both of these buses were powered by a MAN 6 cylinder 220 HP diesel engine mounted horizontally underneath the floor, and a 3 speed automatic transmission. #102 was a 54' long bus, while 103 was a 59' bus.

#102 photographed near the Strathcona Garage

#103 outside of the Strathcona Garage.

Edmonton Transit's next demo articulated bus was a GM model TA-60102N bus. The bus used for this demo was Mississauga #5001 which at the time was being used on a cross Canada demo tour. This bus was demoed in Edmonton during at least a part of August 1982. This bus appears to have been used on the route 9, the route that ETS's first articulated buses that they purchased ran on.

The articulated GM is seen running on a route 9 in the Southgate area.

Interior of #5001 at the rear. Note the signs in the ad panels. These announced that this was the first of the 53 articulated buses being built by General Motors.

Sometime around 1985 Edmonton Transit had on demo a Crown/Ikarus articulated bus which was Portland Tri-met #781. This bus was equipped with a wheelchair lift, probably making it the first accessible bus that Edmonton Transit ran.

Tri-met seen first outside of Westwood Garage, then inside of the garage, and finally the interior taken while the bus was inside of Westwood Garage.

The next articulated bus to visit Edmonton was the New Flyer D60 demo fueled by methanol. This bus also did a cross county demo.

While the photo was not taken in Edmonton, this is the same bus that visited Edmonton.

Soon after this, St. Albert Transit took delivery of 3 New Flyer D60 model buses, #801-803. Today these buses are mainly seen working routes out of Downtown Edmonton.
St. Albert Transit took delivery of 3 more D60's in 1995. These ones were different from the previous D60's in that they only had 1 exit door, wheelchair lifts, and larger destination signs. Today these buses see service mainly on the route 203 to the University of Alberta, via Westmount.
Strathcona County Transit followed with purchasing articulated buses by buying the prototype D60LF from New Flyer, built in 1995. #950 was supposed to be built as a CNG powered bus, but this didn't happen. The bus originally had a roller destination sign which was changed to a Balios sign in 2000. #950 has had a full vinyl wrap ad.
Strathcona County Transit followed up the purchase of #950 with #951. This bus was also an ex New Flyer demo unit, a 1993 D60 built to Mississauga specs. It originally had a 6V92TA engine, and a ZH 4HP500 transmission. The transmission has since been changed to an Allison HTB-748. This bus used cards in the window until it had a Balios destination sign installed. In around 2001, this bus was involved in a minor accident requiring the replacement of a body panel near the front head lights which has so far been left plain white.

#951 is descending Bellamy Hill. Note the white corner on the bus. This was a replaced panel after the bus in a minor accident.

These 8 articulated buses were the only ones operating into Edmonton until 2001. In 2001 ETS's first order of articulated buses arrived. 6 New Flyer D60LF model buses #4900-4905. These buses mainly operate on the route 9, but have also done Park and Ride service to the 2001 Track and Field Games, and to the 2002 Grey Cup. They may have also worked other Park and Ride services to other Edmonton Eskimos games. They arrived during April/ May 2001, with 4901 being the last one to arrive close to the end of May. These buses entered service on June 11, 2001. Until they entered service they were easy to find along the route 9 where they would be doing driver training. ETS also took the opportunity of testing the buses along other routes, including the route 66. Imagine my surprise to look out a window at school and watch a D60LF turn onto Millwoods Road from Lakewood Rd. South!! These 6 buses are powered by the Detroit Diesel Series 50 engine.

#4900 has just exited the High Level Bridge on its way south to Southgate on a route 9.

ETS #4905 sitting outside of Westwood Garage.

ETS #4905 sitting outside of Westwood Garage.

In October 2001, St. Albert and Strathcona both began accepting delivery of D60LF's. St. Albert received 5 buses #807-811, and Strathcona received 4 buses #952-955. Both of these groups of buses have only 1 rear door and roller destination signs. The only major difference between them is seat color and the paint schemes. Strathcona regularly runs a D60LF on the mid day route 401. St. Albert seems to use D40LF's into Downtown during mid-day but will have a D60LF on the 203 to the University when school is in.

#810 is on a layover at the University while in service on one of its first days on the road.

What does the future hold for articulated buses in Edmonton?
The 2003 ETS budget has funds for the purchase of 7 more articulated buses. Recently 3 D60LF's were seen doing driver training at Ferrier Garage, a possible indication that articulated buses might run out of that garage with future orders. St. Albert #801-803 are the oldest articulated buses in the Edmonton area and are 12 years old this year. They certainly seem to be doing fine. So far I have not heard of anymore articulated bus orders for either Strathcona County Transit of St. Albert. With Strathcona purchasing 4 Prevost XL-II coaches in 2002 it would seem that they shouldn't need to purchase any new buses for a little while to come.

Back to:

The Barp Special Bus Section.
ETS section.
St. Albert Transit section.
Strathcona County Transit section.