Hamilton is taking a step that will result in the replacement of all of the city’s diesel-powered articulated buses with clean burning natural gas units. Staff told the public works committee that the contract for 20 buses will have to be sole-sourced to the New Flyer company in Winnipeg because they are the only company currently manufacturing 60-foot articulated buses powered by natural gas. There are other manufacturers available for shorter buses.
Hamilton has already participated in a joint procurement of forty-foot buses with Metrolinx and other Ontario municipalities and have purchased a number of the shorter Nova buses manufactured in Quebec.
Staff say the next round of articulated bus replacement will take place in 2026 and they expressed confidence that when that rolls around there will be additional vendors available to supply the buses in a more competitive climate.
Councillor Tom Jackson asked Transit Director Maureen Cosyn Heath to respond to those who might think Hamilton should have purchased Electric Buses.
The purchase was approved unanimously by the Public Works Committee subject to ratification by Council. Funding is already in place in a fleet replacement account that receives contributions from the Federal and Provincial gas tax funds. The Transit Division currently has 49 sixty-foot articulated buses in active service, 29 are already are fuelled by NG and this purchase will allow the rest of the fleet to be converted.