Monday, April 13, 2009

Articulated bus glitch disturbs OC service UPDATED: Lawsuit underway

Just a few weeks after OC Transpo bus maintenance was revealed as having a hard time staying on schedule, another setback for Ottawa's transit utility's fleet: New Flyer's articulated buses were sold with a defective fastening device, keeping 48 of the workhorse of the transit fleet off the roads. The city is apparently looking at possible legal action to seek compensation for costs associated with the defects.

From the Ottawa Citizen:
Councillor Peter Hume agreed the city needs to consider legal action.

While New Flyer is covering the cost of the repairs, Councillor Rob Jellett said there are other costs the city is incurring, such as overtime for mechanics and erosion of service, for which the city should be compensated

"We are looking at all of our options," said city solicitor Rick O'Connor.
Makes you wonder if some of the new double decker buses might be taking a larger load on the fleet.

UPDATE: According to the Ottawa Citizen, the city is already in the midst of a lawsuit against New Flyer regarding defects within buses purchased:

Turns out the city filed a $1-million suit against the company last fall alleging the brakes on 14 buses received from the company between 2002 and 2006 were defective. The case is outstanding. The call for more court action came after OC Transpo general manager Alain Mercier revealed last week that a defect in the device that attaches the front and back portions of the long buses raised enough safety concerns to sideline 41 of 48 buses the city recently received from the company. This further delays OC Transpo’s return to full service following last winter’s transit strike.


Justin said...

Considering how many buses NFI builds, I am shocked they do not have more problems. It seems NFI needs to build another manufacturing facility someplace.

Anonymous said...

I think I was riding on one of these particular articulated buses a couple of weeks ago. Or at least a similarly crappy bus. I was in the accordion part and it was creaking like crazy. It didn't inspire confidence in OC Transpo, that's for sure. It's a good thing the City found out about this before anything serious happened!

I think double-deckers may be the way to go. Well, I think light-rail may be the way to go but I'll (grudgingly) accept double-deckers in the mean time.

Dwight Williams said...

How many cities does New Flyer supply buses for?

Anonymous said...

Dwight: I couldn't tell you a number, but it's a lot. They're the largest North American bus manufacturer right now.

Honestly, though, I'm not terribly enamored of the New Flyer D60s. I don't think they're a great fit for Ottawa's system (witness how much they clog up transit when it snows), and I think Ottawa would be better off looking for a new company to purchase articulated buses from. Maybe a European company like Van Hool? They make quality artics which seem to be working well for York Region's VIVA BRT service.

Andy said...

Metrolinx has a joint bus purchase program with 12 Ontario municipalities. The bus of choice is New Flyer. They are also the lowest bidder. The low price is preferred by transit authorities.

I don't think Ottawa participates in the joint bus purchase.

Anonymous said...

Buses with arthritis pain at their joints?

Well, spend some money and ask the NRC scientists to look at it. (They did look at the proposed double decker buses before).