RDN Transit is expecting 15 new HandyDart buses in the middle of June. (Submitted photo)

RDN Transit to see rollout of 15 new HandyDart buses

Buses will have temporary protective barriers installed to prevent spread of COVID-19

RDN Transit is expected to see a fleet of 15 new HandyDart buses on the road by the middle of June.

According to a press release, the buses are 26-foot, light-duty Micro Bird G5 buses, which can carry up to 20 seated passengers and with flexibility for up to four mobility aids. The buses are equipped with a lift system at the rear of the vehicle which will allow for “safe loading” for people with accessibility issues. They feature LED destination signs, according to the press release, with vinyl seating, a “white-noise tonal back-up alarm” and a rear camera.

In order to assure safe distancing and to adhere to provincially mandated orders during the COVID-19 pandemic, the buses will have a temporary vinyl panel installed to protect drivers and riders.

Fourteen of the RDN buses will replace aging buses, and one will replace a light duty bus temporarily activated in January to expand service, the press release said.

Each bus has a price tag of approximately $176,000 and will be cost-shared, with B.C. Transit covering 47 per cent and RDN Transit covering 53 per cent.

For more information, visit www.bctransit.com/nanaimo.

RELATED: RDN to consider HandyDart fleet replacement

READ ALSO: RDN Transit will start collecting bus fare again next week

READ ALSO: RDN Transit offers temporary busing to Duke Point

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