New Flyer Industries Low Floor
|Years of manufacture||1991 to 2013 (Standard)|
2005 to 2014 (Restyled)
|Length||30 to 60 feet|
The New Flyer Industries Low Floor was a line of transit buses available in Canada and the United States. The bus had a low floor front section and a raised rear section after the rear door. This allowed for the easy boarding of mobility aides such as wheelchairs and walkers. The design set the standard for future low floor buses in North America.
Standard Low Floor
In 1986, Den Oudsten Bussen became the parent company of Flyer Limited, renaming it New Flyer Industries. Prior to the acquisition of Flyer, Den Oudsten had developed a low floor transit bus called the B86 Low Floor and adapted the bus for the North American market in 1988. The prototype of what would become the D40LF very much resembled the B86 Low Floor. It had plug-type doors, square tail lights, and round headlights, however the passenger windows had window frames with round corners.
A later demonstrator had a squared off front fascia with corners cut at an angle. It had square turn signals and rectangular headlights with louvres between them. The destination sign area was canted downwards. New Flyer introduced this bus in 1989 as The User Freindly "TUF" Bus. This demonstrator prototyped the production model. The design was revised in 1994, with the corners of the front rounded off and the destination sign area made upright. The rear featured large, round standardized tail lights. By the beginning of the 1995 model year, the hard edges of the destination sign and headlight area became smooth, and the headlights protruded less. The mid-1990s also saw the option of a rear-mounted HVAC.
The standard Low Floor was offered until the 2010 model year. Production for some existing orders of the D40LF continued to the end of 2010 and a large order for the C40LF placed by the New York MTA continued into 2013.
|F40LF||40||Ballard fuel cell||1996|
Restyled Low Floor
The Low Floor was restyled in 2005 with a curved front end as well as a smoother rear with recessed taillights. It had round headlights and lines that gently curved upwards towards the edge of the front. The restyled Low Floor was designed in collaboration with Styl&Tech, a Quebec-based design firm, and launched with TransLink's first low floor trolleybus on July 20, 2005.
Early LFR models were delivered with hinges midway up the front door, posing a safety hazard at the pinch point. The problem was remedied on existing units by covering the hinge, while newer units have hinges only at the top and bottom of the door, out of reach. To make the corners of the windshield more resilient, they were rounded off beginning mid-2008.
To address headlight visibility issues on buses with bike racks, the headlights were moved closer to the edges of the front. The turn signal was moved above the headlights in a recessed housing. Capital Metro Transit and and BC Transit were among the first to specify this option in 2009.
On EPA 2010 compliant diesel buses, the HVAC was moved from above the engine to the roof near the front as space above the engine was needed for the exhaust aftertreatment system. Forty-foot buses used the new Thermo King RLF1-M1 unit that is used on the Xcelsior, while articulated buses continued to use their original R5 unit.
|H40LFR||40||Hydrogen fuel cell hybrid||2008-2013|
Advanced Styled BRT
In 2005, New Flyer introduced their first bus built with the BRT styling. The first production BRT styled buses were 60-foot buses built for Lane Transit District. BRT models are designated with an "A" suffix (initially "-BRT"). All models, irrespective of fuel, feature a streamlined, raised roofline. A roof-mounted HVAC is also an option.
Much of the BRT styling originated from the design concept for the DE60i. The sleek front had a large, one-piece windshield, projector headlights, and more curved front end. Production buses would be similar, but more angular and feature conventional slide-glide doors.
In December 2016, several 2006 model year C40LFR units operated by Coast Mountain Bus Company suffered from cracked front axle beams during a period of heavy snowfall. This prompted New Flyer to conduct an investigation and, in March 2017, issue a recall for 1098 Low Floor models from model years 2005-2007 after determining the cause of the failures to be a manufacturing defect.
|New Flyer Industries|