The Nova Buses

Nova 7213

NovaBus RTS

In November 1997, the TTC tested RTS (Rapid Transit Series) bus number 1000 which was built to New York City Transit standards. This bus was on loan from Nova for demo purposes. The TTC was pleased with the performance and the stainless steal frame on this bus, therefore an order for 52 more of the RTS series was placed.

The first RTS bus, #7200, arrived on TTC property in the beginning of July 1998, a few days before bus #1000 left the property. Bus #7200, like the models that followed, featured a rear wheelchair lift, air conditioning and wider front doors. The buses were initially equipped with the Luminator MAX2000 flip-dot destination display, although buses #7210 and 7236 were retrofitted in early 2012 to use the Luminator Horizon, which used backlit LEDs for a crisper and easier-to-read display.

The Nova RTS buses are numbered 7200-7251 and were initially operated out of the Danforth Garage. In June 2005, they have been moved to Arrow Road Garage and, as of April 2013, they can be found on routes served by this garage, including 96 WILSON, 35 JANE and 37 ISLINGTON. As of April 2013, all are currently operational.

NovaBus RTS Specifications

  • Numbers: 7200-7251
  • Engine: Detroit Diesel Series 50 275 hp @ 2100 rpm
  • Transmission: Allison VR731RH 3 speed
  • Seating: 39 passengers

Nova RTS Image Archive

NovaBus LFS Demonstrator #1001

The TTC’s first Nova LFS arrived on commission property in May 1998. NovaBus #1001 was a demonstration vehicle purchased by the TTC to test Nova’s new low floor design. The bus operated out of Eglinton garage, in service as an extra on that garage’s routes. The test was successful enough that the TTC decided to make low-floor buses the mainstay of the fleet. Unfortunately for NovaBus, the TTC decided that the main provider of low-floor buses should be Orion. However, the TTC would return to NovaBus for a low-floor purchase, buying 26 low-floor articulated buses in October 2012 (see below).

NovaBus #1001 was decommissioned in April 2000 and sold to Barrie Transit for $306,000 on November 15, 2000. It left TTC property soon thereafter under its own power and drove to a plant Mississauga to be repainted in the new owner’s colours.

Specifications For Nova LFS

  • Length: 40’8”
  • Width: 102’
  • Width/mirrors: 122”
  • Front overhang: 9’7”
  • Rear overhang: 10’11”
  • Tailswing: 2’ with steering fully locked
  • Engine: Detroit Diesel Series 40 (275 bph)
  • Trans:    5 Speed Allison World Transmission (4 main gears with 5th overdrive)
  • GVW:    39’558 lbs.. (36 seated, 40 standees)
  • Ground Clearance: 9 1/2” with bus fully kneeled
  • Turning radius: 45’
  • Wheelbase: 20’5”, requires adjustment in positioning for turns. Much shorter then standard.

Nova LFS Image Archive

NovaBus LFS Artics

Following the retirement of the TTC’s Orion Ikarus articulated buses in January 2003, the TTC swore off articulated buses for the next decade. While the extra-long bendable buses did offer benefits, such as providing additional capacity at the same frequency and operating cost, the TTC was frustrated over how poorly the bendable buses fared on Toronto’s streets. Their maintenance requirements were substantially higher than conventional buses, and the TTC found that they could not hope to keep the articulated models on the road for the hoped-for 18 years.

However, as ridership increased, and the TTC found that many routes were becoming overcrowded, with frequencies so close they encouraged bunching, the commission looked at other agencies that continued to use articulated buses with some success. Finally, in 2012, the TTC placed an order for 27 articulated buses from Nova Bus Industries, to arrive late in 2013.

The LFS Artic model is the articulated version of Nova’s LFS bus (see above). The first prototype was built in 2004, using the front and back portions of older LFS models. The results were promising enough that a more refined prototype was built in 2005 and tests continued. In 2007, the first order for diesel-powered LFS Artic buses was received by the Société de transport de Montréal. Other transit agencies followed, including Halifax’s Metro Transit, Saskatoon Transit, and the WEGO Visitor Transportation System of Niagara Falls. In 2010, Connecticut Transit placed the first order for the hybrid version of the LFS Artic, the first of which arrived in 2011.

The TTC’s order of 27 vehicles was just the beginning. Early in 2013, the TTC expanded that order for another 126 units, to arrive in 2014. In May 2013, bus #9000 was photographed at Nova’s plant in Saint-Eustache, Quebec, generating excitement in the media.

Specifications for the NovaBus LFS Artic

  • Numbers: 9000-9026 (2013 batch), 9027-9152 (2014 batch)
  • Length: 62’
  • Width: 102”
  • Height: 124”
  • Wheelbase: 244” and 253”, front to rear
  • Turning radius: 44’8”
  • Engine: Cummins ISL9 EPA 2010, 8.9L, 330 hp
  • Transmission: Allison B500R, Voith D864.5, ZF 6AP1700B
  • Electric system: Volvo Bus Electronic Architecture
  • HVAC: MCC: standard (heat only), Carrier RF-353 with 05G compressor, Thermo King Athenia with X430 compressor, Thermo King LRT (2007-2010)
  • Front Axle: ZF RL 85
  • Centre Axle: ZF AVN 132
  • Rear/drive Axle: ZF AV 132
  • Brakes: All-wheel disc
  • Front and rear tires: Michelin XZU2 305-70R22.5
  • Centre tires: Continental HDU1 385-55RR22.5
  • Fuel tank capacity: 142 US gal
  • Seating: 62 passengers
  • Standees: 60 passengers

Nova LFS Artic Image Archive


Thanks to Mike Vainchtein for his updates and additions to this web page

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