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City goves the nod to deal for 226 new buses

Council yesterday approved the $155.7-million purchase of 226 new articulated diesel buses in an 18-3 vote.

Ottawa’s getting a deal on 226 new buses.

Council yesterday approved the $155.7-million purchase of 226 new articulated diesel buses in an 18-3 vote.

Under the deal with New Flyer Industries of Winnipeg, the city will also trade in and receive credit for 226 older models the city bought from the company between 2001 and 2004, which have experienced a number of technical problems.

Coun. Clive Doucet characterized the purchase agreement as a “recall program,” allowing the city to trade in the 226 older buses instead of having to pay to maintain the “lemons” as they age.

The new buses, council heard, are expected to offer greater reliability and fuel efficiency as well as lower emissions than the old models.

A five-year “bumper-to-bumper” warranty will cover all repairs and maintenance, except heating and air conditioning, which is covered for two years, and normal wear and tear like brake pad and tire replacement.

“My only question,” Mayor Larry O’Brien said before the vote, “is when do they deliver the first bus?”

Councillors Rick Chiarelli, Bob Monette and Diane Deans cast the only votes against the purchase.

“It appears to be a good deal,” Chiarelli said, “but the road to bankruptcy is paved with great deals.”

His major reservations, he said, were the speed with which the deal, offered only last month, had been approved, and the possible effect on the city’s debt load.

 
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