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New “MetroLink” Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) vehicle unveiled
(Tuesday, April 12, 2005) - Mayor Peter Kelly and Members of Regional Council got their first look today at one of the vehicles to be used for HRM’s new Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) service, scheduled to be launched in the Fall of 2005. Built by New Flyer Industries of Winnipeg, the new 40 foot, low-floor bus features special amenities such as air conditioning, high-backed upholstered seats and bike racks, as well as a unique name and paint scheme, meant to distinguish it from Metro Transit’s existing, regular route service.
The premium BRT service, featuring more direct, limited-stop bus service, is being developed as part of Transport Canada’s Urban Transportation Showcase program. Initially it is included as part of a five year pilot program valued at $13.3 million dollars, designed to attract new riders to public transit and demonstrate and promote an effective alternative for reducing greenhouse gas emissions in the transportation sector. Other partners of the HRM project include the Province of Nova Scotia and the Ecology Action Centre.
Mayor Kelly revealed, “"The new service, labelled "MetroLink” is simple, direct and conveys the type of express service function it is designed to provide, a more direct 'link' from major commuter areas.
The colour scheme on the new ”MetroLink” bus features the HRM corporate colours of blue and gold with grey added as the third accent colour. The highway-coach style bus design is a departure from the more traditional, white background used by most urban transit fleets. It displays flowing, dynamic curves and pinstriping meant to contrast against the rectangular nature of the bus and give it movement and life.
The unique character of the new bus graphics, which will also be reflected on bus stops and shelters and other passenger amenities, will distinctly brand the new ”MetroLink” service and set it apart from the existing Metro Transit service.
A total of twenty buses will operate initially on the new supplemental service when it is introduced later this year. Prior to being launched , the “MetroLink” buses will be required to be outfitted with a number of operations features such as an Opticom Transit Priorty signal system, the GoTime/AVL system, fareboxes and other operations equipment, as well as undergo inspections by the Nova Scotia Utility & Review Board. More specific details and customer service information will be forthcoming as the launch date draws closer.
Manager Public Affairs