BC Transit orders 29 new double-decker buses from British firm

Brand new double-decker public transit buses will be rolling onto the streets of the Greater Victoria region next year.

It was announced today that BC Transit has placed a firm order for 29 double-decker buses from British bus manufacturer Alexander Dennis, a subsidiary of Manitoba-based bus manufacturer New Flyer.

This will be an order for the Enviro500 double-deck bus model. Upon arrival in 2025, the new vehicles will replace BC Transit’s aging double-decker buses, which were acquired from Alexander Dennis nearly 25 years ago. BC Transit began retiring its aging double-decker buses in 2021.

According to the manufacturer, BC Transit’s use of double-decker buses beginning in 2000 marked the first time an Alexander Dennis double-decker bus was used in North America. The very first vehicle from BC Transit’s initial double-decker bus fleet was recently shipped back to the United Kingdom, where it will be preserved as part of the manufacturer’s heritage fleet.

According to Alexander Dennis, BC Transit has now acquired over 100 double-decker buses from the British firm to date.

“BC Transit is proud of our continued partnership with Alexander Dennis. This new order of 29 Alexander Dennis Enviro500 buses will help ensure we are able to keep our essential transit services running efficiently for our valued customers. Transit ridership continues to grow in British Columbia, and we look forward to these buses going into service next year,” said Erinn Pinkerton, the president and CEO of BC Transit, in a statement.

Stephen Walsh, vice president of North America for Alexander Dennis, added: “BC Transit made history in 2000 when it introduced the first double-deck buses into transit service in North America. We are extremely proud to have been part of this journey from day one and to continue to work in partnership with BC Transit with this latest order for more Enviro500 double-deckers.”

The latest double-decker buses for BC Transit will be built as a partnership between Alexander Dennis and Big Rig Manufacturing in Las Vegas. In 2023, Alexander Dennis announced Big Rig Manufacturing would be the contract manufacturing partner to build Enviro500 double-deck buses for the North American market.

Alexander Dennis is one of the largest manufacturers of double-decker buses in the world. Its fleets include those for the public transit systems in London, Hong Kong, Greater Toronto, and TransLink in Metro Vancouver. In 2019, the firm was acquired by New Flyer, a longtime supplier for BC Transit and TransLink.