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CUTA 2010: Trans-Expo, the transit trade show

A bus on a hoist from Westvac!

TransLink is hosting the 2010 Canadian Urban Transit Association (CUTA) fall conference this week! See the CUTA 2010 category for more conference coverage.

As part of the CUTA conference, there’s a trade show called Trans-Expo, where vendors come to show off their wares. But at a transit conference, “wares” really means actual buses and transit technologies, all trucked in and put on display! Here’s some highlights from the show on Tuesday—one was definitely this community shuttle hoisted on a heavy-duty lift, made by a supplier called Westvac.

A double-decker bus from BC Transit.

A BC Transit hybrid double decker bus manufactured by Alexander Dennis was brought along for the show too.

A 27.5-foot Vicinity bus being tested by BC Transit.

And there was also a 27.5 foot bus made by Grande West, which is being tested by BC Transit. The bus is slightly bigger than a community shuttle but smaller than a regular bus, which is typically 40′ long.

Buses manufactured by Nova Bus for Viva, the bus rapid transit service in York, Ontario.

Nova Bus also brought along one of their articulated buses from Viva, a bus rapid transit service in York.

A table in the Viva bus!

The back of the Viva bus had a table by some of the seats! Do you notice the upholstery says Viva on it too?

The interior of another York Regional Transit bus.

And here’s the interior of a different York Regional Transit bus that was on display. Can you see that the back wall is upholstered with the same fabric as the seats?

The Talfourd Jones booth.

As always, there are a host of booths from companies who specialize in certain parts for the transit industry. I always find it surprising to find an entire company behind even small items—above, the company Talfourd Jones shows off its specialization in bumpers for transit vehicles!

Clean Air Technologies.

Who knew that there was a whole company making dust and fume extraction systems for the transit industry?

MGM Brakes

Or even air brakes? MGM Brakes specializes in air brakes for buses.

Canada Ticket, a fare media manufacturer.

And yes, entire companies do specialize in fare media. Canada Ticket is one of them.

Angus McIntyre with one of the TRAMS buses from the 1930s.

Last but not least, here’s our friend Angus McIntyre with one of the Transit Museum Society’s vintage buses. TRAMS had four buses at the Trans-Expo: two Brills, an old Flyer trolley, and this Pacific Stage Lines bus! Pretty neat to see the old buses being celebrated along with the new.

By the way, if you’re interested in what a trade show at a rail conference looks like, check out this past post from the APTA 2010 Rail conference :)


  • By Gordon, November 17, 2010 @ 9:40 am

    Would the 27.5 foot mini buses bea possibility for transit espansion in Surrey for thise areas that can’t support a regular 40ft bus?

  • By Dennis, November 17, 2010 @ 10:36 am

    I got a chance to attend Trans-Expo yesterday. Many software vendors too, such as scheduling and GPS/service tracking solutions, infotainment, etc.

    Just a small correction: The old Flyer bus wasn’t a trolley, it was the diesel model (#3334 of the TRAMS fleet). (

  • By Hilary, November 17, 2010 @ 11:44 am

    TINYBUS <3!

    Okay, that 27.5 foot bus is too big/too similar to normal bus proportions to be a true Tinybus (otherwise known as Quebec City's Écolobus — I can't seem to find information about its dimensions online, but it looks smaller to me and in proportions it looks all squashed down like a super-deformed anime character; also it's electric) but I'd still love to see those in Vancouver.

  • By ???, November 17, 2010 @ 12:15 pm

    When buses couldn’t make it around the curves to Horsebay, they resorted to blasting to fit the bigger buses. Has this been considered for Surrey?

  • By Andrew Joyce, November 17, 2010 @ 5:07 pm

    I think Translink should buy some 30 foot buses from New Flyer to replace the community shuttles because the current vehicles cost around $125,000 and only last 5 years whereas a D30LFR (or DE30LFR) would likely cost double that but last 20 years and use the same parts as their 40 and 60 foot cousins. On top of that, they would be much easier to board then the current high floor shuttles and would have a much higher capacity.

  • By Jhenifer Pabillano - Buzzer Editor, November 17, 2010 @ 5:30 pm

    Dennis: thanks for the correction! Will fix. And glad you got into the Trans-Expo after all!

  • By ;-), November 17, 2010 @ 8:48 pm

    There’s been discussion how people don’t like bench seats as people are facing one another. I like bench seats as it can allow more people to stand and reduces choke points.

    One seat design I don’t like are the rear facing seats above the rear wheels….. Bench seats give you far more space and leg room than the rear facing seats above the wheels.

  • By Sheba, November 18, 2010 @ 10:17 am

    That double decker bus would be awesome for some of the busier routes – maybe make all the B Line routes double deckers.

  • By Jhenifer Pabillano - Buzzer Editor, November 18, 2010 @ 10:28 am

    Sheba: You know, I’ve asked about that before—the challenges for the current B-Line on Broadway would be that double deckers would run into the existing trolley wire. We’d also have to renovate our garage facilities to accommodate the larger buses and start new maintenance (taller doors, bigger hoists to pick the buses up, etc). Also, I understand the current articulated buses have a higher passenger capacity than the double deckers, owing to need for stairs and stuff on the lower deck.

  • By ;-), November 18, 2010 @ 12:24 pm

    Being to Hong Kong and Victoria on the Double-deckers, I’m not a big fan of them. While the views are great and the bus stops are shorter. The time to load and unload is slower. There artics have an extra set of doors to exit and you don’t need to wait for passengers to go up and down stairs. The biggest disadvantage is being unable to allow passengers to stand on the upper deck.

  • By Jhenifer Pabillano - Buzzer Editor, November 18, 2010 @ 2:01 pm

    Gordon, Hilary, ???, Andrew: I sent your questions along to fleet management and here’s the answer.

    We do have an interest in the Chinese-built small bus. I understand that BC Transit currently has that bus as a demonstration unit, and might consider buying some. For us, the bus might be suitable for our Community Shuttle service. But since we have an RFP open, and that bus was proposed, I can’t make any further comment on that bus specifically.

  • By Mike, November 19, 2010 @ 4:10 pm

    I’d also like to add my voice in support of these 27.5-30ft buses to replace the community shuttles. The shuttles are not comfortable to sit in, extremely noisy with the wheelchair ramp (which is very rarely used anyway), very crowded when full, and standing up in the shuttles is downright dangerous in the back with nothing to hold on to. Plus it takes seniors a long time to get up and down the stairs.

  • By Jeff, August 5, 2012 @ 7:59 pm

    Just incase anyone was wondering if translink might try out those 27.5-foot Vicinity bus i noticed one in langly with the Translink logo saying test so maybe translink might purchase some for surrey? who knows!

  • By techelevlift, September 1, 2014 @ 9:23 pm

    It would be great if this type of Double Decker articulating bus (URL: be used on the 99 B-Line or any major express routes similar to the 99, at least. I can see the hurdles for garage renovation, trolley wires height, etc. but this type of bus could be considered in the future with a similar height design of the NEOPLAN Megaliner (Japan version) which the height is 3.79 m so it can pass underneath trolley wires without too much trouble.

  • By techelevlift, November 8, 2014 @ 4:03 pm

    If in the future our buses will be at maximum capacity, if there are new bus depots being built and existing depots being renovated, perhaps TransLink should consider height clearances of double decker buses so there won’t be any additional upgrades required in the future. I would like to see double decker buses for routes like 130, 135, 160, 169, etc. B-Line buses should have these ones (Picture URL:

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