Four new high-tech buses will be whisking Canada Arctic Winter Games spectators and volunteers around Whitehorse during the Games, February 23 to March 10.
The buses will be equipped with fuel-efficient engines and will be “kneeling buses” capable of lowering themselves to the sidewalk to improve accessibility for people with mobility problems.
Routes will be co-ordinated with programs and activities at many of the 12 sport and cultural venues.
“This is a situation kind of where all the planets are lining up, where we have the Games and we have a need to provide spectator service and volunteer access to the venues, so we’re going to provide our complete fleet with these four new buses, this express system, which is basically this loop system,” said Robert Fendrick, the city’s director of administrative services.
“There will be loops centred around the Canada Games Centre and then looping out to the various subdivisions,” Fendrick said.
Once the Games are over, the four buses will replace four of the more than 20-year-old buses currently in service.
The city is hoping to eventually replace all its buses with the new high-tech buses.
The decision to replace four buses, rather than expand on the current transit service, was made by a city transit task force that has been in operation for two years.
The city has not released the cost of the four buses, but is hoping to offset the expense by selling between $20,000 and $30,000 Games Time transit passes.
During the Games, regular transit passes will also be accepted on all the new “express routes.”
The city will be testing the new buses and service loops between December 18 and December 23 to work out all the kinks in the system, said Fendrick.
Details on the Games Time routes and schedules will be released in the coming weeks.