This new bus Manufacturer has sold its first bus to Cornwall PEI. It went into service in early September. Has anyone seen the new bus? Any photos avaiable?
Here is the article about the company:
A new Fredericton, NB company is hoping to cruise to business success by designing transit buses here, buying brand-name components from across North America, assembling those components in China and selling them at a big discount.
Mike Legere, president of Fredericton-based Transplus Inc., poses with one of his buses assembled in China with components built in North America, and sold to Cornwall, P.E.I. Legere hopes to sell more buses in Atlantic Canada and eventually the rest of the country.
Transplus Inc. president Mike Legere said his company has already sold its first bus in Cornwall, P.E.I.
He plans to sell his buses across Atlantic Canada and eventually the rest of the country and into the United States.
He calls his buses "globally sourced and assembled," or GSA.
"Transplus is the exclusive agent representing a line of globally sourced and assembled buses for the North American market," said Legere in an interview Friday.
He said the company started in 2007 and it took off when it got some private Canadian investors on board in 2008.
"All major drive components are either sold, distributed or serviced by original equipment manufacturers," said Legere.
For example, that means diesel engines by Cummins and transmissions by Allison, he said.
That's important, he said, because it means any transit department's mechanic will quickly recognize what is under the skin of a Transplus bus.
"Rather than bring all the parts here and assemble the bus here, we are taking a lot of North American components over to China and having the final assembly take place in China," he said.
There are no bus manufacturers in Atlantic Canada, said Legere.
"By using our GSA approach, we're creating high-end jobs here in Atlantic Canada and elsewhere in Canada," he said.
Those local jobs aren't in manufacturing but in engineering and design, servicing and parts distribution, said Legere.
The company has no government funding, he said.
"When this project gets to our projected level of sales, then we are looking at employing 50 or 60 people right here (in New Brunswick)," he said.
"As we start moving the product farther west, obviously we'll need people throughout Canada to support that product."
Transplus is a privately held company, so Legere declined to say what those projected sales are or discuss the financial details of the company.
"I would just say that it doesn't have to be a whole lot," he said in regard to how many buses he has to sell to be successful.
He said the advantages of his buses are the price and speed of delivery, with savings in the range of 20 per cent.
Legere also said the bus manufacturing industry has a backlog of orders worth billions of dollars.
"We can offer a new product in a much shorter time than the industry standard," he said.
The bus backlog in North America is up to two years, he said, and Transplus can deliver a bus in about a year.
Additionally, a transit company can custom order buses from Transplus, Legere said.
The bus sold in P.E.I. - which went into service in the first week of September - is a low-floor bus which has no steps, wider doors and can "kneel" for ease of access for mobility-impaired riders, said Legere.
A customer can order how many wheelchair spaces they want, he said.
All Transplus buses are certified to the Canadian safety standard, he said.
Legere said the company is headquartered in Fredericton because this is where he grew up.
He said he knows it won't be easy as a new company to break into the transit bus market.
"There are some barriers to entry there," said Legere.
He's specifically targeting small- to medium-sized cities, such as those the same size as Halifax or smaller.
"Larger municipalities can be very loyal to their brand, whereas smaller communities generally have a greater mix of vehicles because they lack the resources to replace a large percentage of their fleet on a regular basis," said Legere.
"This is where we can fit in very nicely by offering a quality product at a reasonable cost."
The company also offers leases, rentals and trade-ins. Legere said in the case of Cornwall, P.E.I., Transplus created a transit awareness fund.
He said Transplus intends to bid on Fredericton's next bus tender.
Coun. Bruce Grandy, chairman of Fredericton's transit committee, said it's always good to have competitors around so the city can get the best bids for the taxpayers' money.
"I have not heard of this company," he said Friday. "We would certainly have to look at the specifications and make sure that they meet the requirements of a transit bus."
In 2009, Fredericton bought a new transit bus for $391,000 plus HST.
Grandy said the company should come in and talk to the city's transit department about its bus so it can be evaluated properly.
He said he knows there are long waits for new buses.
"Perhaps the next one they make they could bring it into Fredericton on its way to its delivery," said Grandy.
"It would be great to see one."
The following is a story about Cornwall puting the bus into service. There is a photo with the story I tried to attach it here but it only shows a small part of the front corner of the bus!!
Cornwall residents get improved transit service with new bus
October 17, 2010
Cornwall, PEI -- Residents of Cornwall will benefit from improved transit services thanks to a new bus which was put into service in early September. The low-floored, wheelchair-accessible bus can seat 35 passengers. It will expand the Cornwall leg of the Capital Region Public Transit system as a complement to the existing City of Charlottetown and Town of Stratford systems.
The Honourable Gail Shea, Minister of Fisheries and Oceans, the Honourable Ron W. MacKinley, Minister of Transportation and Infrastructure Renewal, and Cornwall Councillor Marlene Hunt, Chair of the Transportation and Safety Committee, joined together to celebrate the launch of service of the new bus.
“Efficient public transit is a priority for our government and for Canadians,” said Minister Shea. “Today’s celebration is an example of our commitment to improving and strengthening Canadian communities.”
“This new transit bus will give residents of Cornwall the opportunity to enjoy the benefits of environmentally friendly public transportation,” said Minister MacKinley. “The Province is pleased to support this project and, as member for the district, I’m very excited to see the Town of Cornwall taking steps toward building a sustainable community.”
“This represents a huge step forward for the Town of Cornwall,” noted Councillor Hunt. “To have a modern bus, equipped with a bike rack and being wheelchair accessible is wonderful. We are delighted with the support this project received through the Gas Tax Fund. I wish to thank the federal and provincial governments for their assistance with this initiative as well as Mayor Patrick MacFadyen and Town Council for their support.”
The federal government provided $450,000 to the Town of Cornwall through the Gas Tax Fund for transit initiatives in the community. In Budget 2008, the Government of Canada announced that the gas tax would be extended beyond 2013-14 to become a $2 billion per year source of permanent infrastructure investment. Between 2007 and 2014, Prince Edward Island will receive $88.5 million from the Gas Tax Fund.