Ottawa’s double-deckers present rare opportunity for Victoria

Three Alexander Dennis Enviro500 buses currently undergoing testing in Ottawa, could end up on the streets of Victoria. Photo © Skyscraper Source Media Inc.

BC Transit could find itself the owner of three slightly-used double-deckers if test buses too tall for the Canadian capitol’s roadways are deemed the right fit for Victoria.

OC Transpo, Ottawa’s transit authority, has been testing Alexander Dennis Enviro500 double-deckers for several years and has refined the specifications for its ideal vehicle. Coincidentally test buses that no longer fit the bill for Ottawa could become an opportunity for Victoria to pick up used double-deckers on the cheap — a rarity in North America where the vast majority of buses are single-floored.

“We’re always looking for a good deal,” BC Transit’s Meribeth Burton responded when asked of the possibility of acquiring Ottawa’s test vehicles. “Of the buses OC Transpo has operated a small figure simply do not meet their requirements. But if they meet Victoria’s requirements this could be a great opportunity to buy buses at a discounted price.”

Although Burton would not comment on what BC Transit may be prepared to pay for each bus, a used Enviro500 would most certainly sell for well below the Enviro’s list price of nearly $1-million. Burton also maintained that while snapping up Ottawa’s buses would represent a significant savings compared to buying brand new inventory, BC Transit has not made any offers to-date nor does it have any funds currently committed to their acquisition.

OC Transpo reportedly has 75 double-deckers on order and will join Victoria, Kelowna and Toronto as the only jurisdictions in Canada operating two-floor transit vehicles.

Victoria was the first city in North America to integrate double-decker vehicles into its transit fleet back in 2001. VV

To stay up to date on the Victoria Regional Transit System refer to VV’s discussion thread on the subject here. And be sure to follow us on Twitter and connect with us on Facebook to never miss an important headline or forum discussion on VibrantVictoria.

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Responses to this Headline or Article

The five most recent replies to's discussion forum's BC Transit (Victoria Regional Transit System) news and issues thread, the most relevant thread to the above headline or article:

Mike K.

Oct 30, 2013 at 10:21 pm

I have more info pertaining to the discussion on commuter trains being "pushed" not pulled and when seen on the tracks appearing to be moving away from a subject but actually moving towards them.

I was just in Chicago and learned that Metra, the commuter rail operator, pushes trains at upwards of 72 miles per hour, or over 110km/h. Pushed trains keep the diesel engines from polluting stations, apparently.

Just thought I'd post an update as we were uncertain of the details during the discussion.

James Bay walker

Oct 31, 2013 at 7:41 am

Quote: Finally, if you stink - like don't wash yourself or wash your clothes - there should be a $25 surtax on your fare.

Well, "$25 surtax on your fare" seems excessive. But as an annual surcharge the concept has merit. How about a $25/year label pin, perhaps labelled "year> I'm stinky and like it"?.

But I'd expect that to also apply to those with 3rd hand smoke odour (clothing that reeks of rancid tobacco tars) and any passengers who use perfumes and scented soaps.


ps. Naturally those below the poverty line would be exempt or pay a more nominal charge for their lapel pin as they cannot readily afford even $25/year, and perhaps cannot readily afford to keep clean or wear freshly laundered clothes (or avoid smoking).

patrick venton

Oct 31, 2013 at 8:51 am

JBW, Your on a great roll this morn.. much enjoyed.

Mike K.

Nov 06, 2013 at 6:38 pm

I suppose passengers or drivers noticed someone pointing a gun at the buses. Otherwise would you be able to even hear a pellet round hitting a moving bus?


VICTORIA – BC Transit is working in conjunction with Sooke RCMP after buses were struck by what investigators believe are pellets from an air gun. The five incidents - from October 31 to November 5, 2013 - occurred between 5 pm – 8 pm on Sooke Road or West Coast Road.

There have been no injuries as a result of the five incidents.

“Safety is BC Transit’s core value,” said Stephen Anderson, BC Transit Manager of Safety and Security. “We are working closely with the RCMP to ensure these senseless acts come to an end.”

“This is a public safety issue,” said Staff Sgt. Stephen Wright Sooke RCMP. “There are risks to pedestrians, motorists and passengers. The person responsible could be facing charges under the criminal code.”

BC Transit encourages anyone who has knowledge of these suspected pellet gun incidents to contact the Sooke RCMP non-emergency number at 250.642.5241 or Crimestoppers 1.800.222.8477.

James Bay walker

Nov 06, 2013 at 8:12 pm

Quote: I suppose passengers or drivers noticed someone pointing a gun at the buses. Otherwise would you be able to even hear a pellet round hitting a moving bus?

You'd hear it hitting the more hollow metal panels easily enough, perhaps not near where they're tight mounted to struts. You might hear a lesser sound from impact with the glass (I'd expect the glass to chip some of the time), for sure if you were a passenger and the pellet struck the glass only a foot or so from your head.

I'd assume someone just might have been noticing fresh pellet damage to the buses as confirmation (they're not certain of the location which suggests to me 'after the fact' investigation/evidence noticing).


editted to add: OK, now I'm feeling an urge to don a bullet proof vest and bullet resistant headgear when boarding B.C. Transit.

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