In 2005, the delivery of the pilot trolley bus to the Greater Vancouver Transit Authority (GVTA) marked New Flyer’s re-introduction to the electric trolley market.
New Flyer delivered its first trolley buses (model E700) in 1968 to the Toronto Transit Commission. In 1992, New Flyer developed and delivered North America’s first 60’ articulated trolley bus for San Francisco Municipal Railway in California.
In 2003, GVTA began the replacement of its aging trolley fleet with an order for 188 40’ and 40 articulated 60’ low-floor units, all with New Flyer’s Restyled bus design and industry-leading reliability and durability. Subsequently, the Southeastern Pennsylvania Transportation Authority s ordered 38 units plus options for 23 trolleys for its existing trolley infrastructure.
These next-generation buses use the proven Vossloh Kiepe current collector along with a new electric dewirement detection system that was designed specifically for New Flyer. A battery-powered emergency power unit provides power when the overhead line is not available, giving the trolley the ability to maneuver around obstructions without difficulty.
An aluminum compartment houses the electronic units that supply power to the traction system to the on-board electronics. This compact roof-mounted enclosure was developed for easy maintenance access and to accommodate the low-floor design.
These heavy-duty buses have electronically-set maximum speeds of 40 mph and enough power to tackle the demanding grades of the Greater Vancouver area. With zero-emissions and whisper-quiet operation, trolley buses are gaining popularity as a clean-air technology.
Photo courtesy of Klaus Peter Canavan