Wow, it’s been a while since I wrote anything. Long story short it’s been really busy at work. The hours are long but it’s still a fun adventure. Anyways at the beginning of June I saw something very odd in the bus yard: and brand new Nova Bus LFS CNG #693, freshly delivered. When I saw that bus my heart sank, as that meant the contract with Nova was NOT cancelled. After asking around the office I found out that it’s confirmed that the contract was never cancelled, and it was just a rumor spread by some drivers. That means once all of the diesel buses are finally retired it will be nothing but Nova’s (not including the specialty buses like PRIMO and VIVA).
Apparently VIA is receiving 44 buses this year (692-735) , most likely replacing the 48 remaining NABI’s. As of this post date, 16 have been delivered and are already in service. That means 16 NABI’s have been retired. They are sitting in the storage lot with their bike racks and fare boxes removed. They have not been cleared of ads and decals or had their livery painted over. These buses are 833, 837, 838, 839, 842, 843, 845, 861, 863, 866, 874, 875, 910, 911, 941, and 943.
There are 21 buses sitting in the same storage lot waiting for the new buses to arrive. They are 834, 859, 872, 877, 880, 883, 887, 890, 893, 894, 895, 896, 897, 898, 901, 905, 909, 917, 923, 926, and 929. The good news is that there are still 10 buses in service: 835, 864, 903, 904, 912, 913, 921, 924, 937, and 942. I’m hoping these remaining 10 will work hard up to their last day.
Bus 850 was removed from service about 6 months ago and converted to some sort of response vehicle. The entire interior has been redone (seats removed, new ceiling and wall panels and new flooring). Some tables and chairs have been added, as well as additional roof A/C units and a collapsible canopy. The rear upper deck had their windows removed and lockers installed. I wish I could take interior pictures of this bus as the transformation is awesome. So far, this bus has remained in the yard and not used. I’m not exactly sure how long VIA will keep this bus.
As for the graveyard, it’s almost completely bare. The only remaining buses are some 2005 New Flyer D40LF’s. All of the previously retired NABI’s have been removed and sent to scrap or bus rehab via Complete Coach Works in California.
That’s the update for now. I’m keeping a very close eye on the NABI’s. The clock is ticking for these remaining beauties, and it will be a sad day once they are officially gone for good.