For the past 3 years, I was preparing myself for the retirement of the 1999-2001 NABI fleet. I was hoping that the replacements would be New Flyer Xcelsiors, however I was very disappointed when Nova Bus won the order. Fast forward to October 2017 when the remaining 1999 NABI’s were finally retired, and VIA was starting to work on the rest of the fleet. Around mid-October to November the retirement process stopped for some odd reason. It was around the same time that 80% of the remaining active NABI fleet was placed into storage in a parking lot at the Madla Transit Center.
Only 14 NABI’s would remain in active service: 835, 850, 864, 901, 903, 904, 912, 913, 921, 924, 937, 941, 942, and 943. The other 34 buses would just continue to sit and collect dust, awaiting their inevitable fate. Well the spare parking lot these buses were sitting in was needed for special event service for New Year’s. So of course the buses had to be moved somewhere.
They didn’t go far, as they were placed next door into the training course. Luckily there were no classes when this happened. Tuesday resumed class for me, and we were doing DPS prep. The buses had been moved back into the parking lot, however I noticed something very shocking. Half of the buses were gone!
First thing that goes through my mind is “where did they go?” When returning to the garage later that afternoon I saw a few of the buses sitting in the yard. So my next thought was “they are finally going to get prepped for retirement.”
Well today (Wednesday 1/3/18), the NABI’s that were sitting at Madla were back in revenue service. This was a compete shock to me as I was not expecting this outcome at all. I also took note that a majority of the New Flyer D40LF’s were out on the road as well. There were quite a few Nova’s sitting in the yard.
It’s too early for me to jump to any conclusions, but I wonder if this might have anything to do with the way the Nova’s are turning out: not well. I’ll just have to wait and see what happens. But for now, it looks like the NABI’s may remain in service for a little while longer.