Smithers and Hazelton received new buses in August thanks to $160 million from the federal and provincial governments for wholesale transit improvements first announced two years ago.
“Investing in public transit infrastructure is key to growing the middle class. I’m pleased to see these modern and accessible new buses rolling into communities across B.C. to better serve current users, support future growth in communities across the province and contribute to building more inclusive communities,” said federal cabinet minister François-Philippe Champagne.
The new buses, ARBOC Spirit of Mobility buses, have between 17 to 23 seats depending on the configuration. Smithers will get three ARBOC buses while Hazelton will get two.
“Expanding the fleet and bringing in larger buses with more seating will provide a more enjoyable experience for people who ride the bus,” said parliamentary secretary Bowinn Ma on behalf of provincial transportation minister Claire Trevena. “We are committed to making BC Transit service more accessible, and the new Spirit of Mobility buses will make it easier for people with disabilities to safely get on and off the bus.”
BC Transit has around 300 ARBOC buses in its fleet across the province. Each bus will cost approximately $240,000.
“Each time a new bus is introduced into a transit system, we are improving the way in which we are connecting people to their communities,” said BC Transit’s Interim President and Chief Executive Officer Erinn Pinkerton said. “Whether we are expanding a fleet or replacing a bus with a newer model, these new buses will greatly impact the customer experience.”