Whitehorse city council OKs the purchase of two new buses

The City of Whitehorse is getting two new buses. At its meeting Feb. 27, council approved the purchase of two new buses to be delivered sometime in 2018.

The City of Whitehorse is getting two new buses.

At its meeting Feb. 27, council approved the purchase of two new buses to be delivered sometime in 2018.

Instead of going out to tender, council agreed to buy the buses from Nova Buses, the same company that built the rest of the city’s fleet.

If a project is worth more than $100,000 city council has to approve the decision to skip the bidding process.

City staff recommended sole-sourcing the contract. Keeping all the buses consistent means the city will be able to continue its standardized training, parts and maintenance for the fleet, an administrative report to council said.

“Not proceeding as recommended and releasing a public tender would negate any standardization of the conventional transit fleet,” according to the report.

“Initial estimates are that operating and maintenance costs could increase as much as $130,000 in retooling and training costs in 2018 if a new supplier is chosen.”

In the end council voted unanimously to give the contract to Nova.

The new buses, like all the conventional buses the city runs, are 40-feet long and can lower themselves to the curb, making them more accessible.

The price tag will be just over $1 million, with money coming from both the federal and territorial governments.

The city last bought two buses from Nova in December 2016 for about the same price. They are part of a five-year plan to replace the city’s aging buses.

As of 2018, the transit fleet will range from 18 months to 13 years old.

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