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Cobourg will purchase new accessible bus

Cecilia Nasmith

By Cecilia Nasmith, Northumberland Today


Improvements through Public Transportation Infrastructure Funding announced for Cobourg earlier this month are being rolled out, council heard Monday night.

At their committee-of-the-whole session, they approved the purchase of a new eight-metre low-floor bus from Creative Carriage Ltd. through the Metrolinx Transit Procurement Initiative at a cost of $166,500 plus tax.

This will replace the existing 11-year-old Wheels bus, and the PTIF portion of the purchase is $85,000.

“Cobourg became a member of Metrolinx in 2016, when we ordered the new 30-ft. bus,” stated the report from director of public works Barry Thrasher.

“Metrolinx is the agency which administers transit-vehicle procurement for Toronto and large surrounding municipalities, as well as other smaler municipalities which join their membership.”

Given its age, the current Wheels bus is experiencing more frequent mechanical problems. When it is out of service, the replacement is often a school bus that does not always have the same accessibility features.

Once the new bus arrives, Thrasher suggested, the old Wheels bus could serve as a back-up for both Wheels clients and conventional routes.

“When we get the new bus, we have to move to audio for accessibility standards,” Deputy Mayor John Henderson pointed out, referring to new requirements for audio announcement of stops as required by the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act.

“Is that built into the price, or something we have yet to address?” Henderson asked.

“It's not built in,” Thrasher said.

“But we have a contract with a company to install that technology into our existing buses, and we will add that bus on.”