Orion Bus Industries 'Orion VI'

From CPTDB Wiki
(Redirected from Orion VI)
Jump to navigation Jump to search
Orion VI
Brampton Transit 9862-a.jpg
Years of manufacture 1995 to 2003
Length 40 feet
Width 102 inches
Propulsion Diesel, CNG, Diesel-Electric Hybrid
Brampton Transit 9846-a.jpg

The Orion Bus Industries Orion VI (model 06.501) was the company's first full sized low floor transit bus. A fair number of buses were sold in Ontario as the provincial government committed to funding the accessible, low floor bus. Outside of the province, sales of the Orion VI were markedly less.

The prototype was introduced in 1993 at that year's American Public Transportation Association Expo. Regular production began in 1996, with Capital District Transportation Authority receiving the first buses, followed soon after by Brampton Transit. Production continued into 2003 when the Orion VI was replaced by the Orion VII.


The Orion VI was one of the first fully low floor buses built for the North American market. Portal axles and an offset drivetrain allowed for a mainly level aisle to the rear of the bus. A second door could be placed at the very rear or near the middle. A wheelchair ramp was commonly placed at the front door, though one could be specified at the middle doors.

Often times the space above the rear wheel housings became unused on early models. Some agencies would specify three seats over the rear closed side wheel, accessed by a small step intruding into the aisle. With a mid-mounted door, some agencies would specify a raised floor height that was a step higher before the rear wheels. This allowed for easier access to the aforementioned three seats and the addition of two seats over the other wheels.

Roof mounted equipment, such as HVAC or CNG tanks, was built into the overall height of the bus. Diesel powered, buses had the fuel tank immediately behind the front open side wheel.

A prototype diesel-electric hybrid Orion VI was produced in 1996. Development, which began in 1993, was funded by the Federal Transit Administration, the New York Power Authority and New York State Energy Research and Development Authority. The three-door bus had tandem rear axles. Each of the four rear wheels featured induction hub motors from General Electric. A 5.9 litre Cummins engine powered an Onan generator, which produced electricity to power the vehicle. Following non-revenue testing, results showed that hybrid buses could reduce fuel consumption and emissions.[1]

Orion moved toward production of the hybrid Orion VI and received an order for 10 trial buses from New York City Transit (NYCT). These buses used the Lockheed Martin HybriDrive system which included a 230 hp Detroit Diesel Series 30 diesel engine, a 170 kW generator, and a 187 kW AC traction motor.[1] The first buses entered service in September 1998. The NYCT would eventually go on to purchase a substantial number of hybrid Orion VII buses that were equipped in a similar fashion.[2] Trial fleets of the hybrid Orion VI were also purchased by Fresno Area Express, Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority, San Francisco MUNI, and Torrance Transit.



Canada Flag of Canada.png

United States Flag of the United States.png

Demonstrator and engineering units

Below is a list of known demonstrator and engineering buses

Fleet number Thumbnail Year VIN Engine Transmission Notes
1993 P5040001 3 door purple demo
1995 Cummins B5.9 General Electric
hybrid system
  • NY State Consortium hybrid bus prototype
  • 3 door, tandem rear axles with single powered wheels, NiCd batteries
10 1995 R5040003 Cummins L10G Allison B400R
2000 1995 2B1669K76S5040004 Cummins L10G Allison B400R
1996 2B1669K7XT5040007 Cummins L10G Allison B400R 3 door CNG demo
Orion Bus Industries 6001-a.jpg 1997 2B1669N71V5060001 Cummins ISB Lockheed Martin HybriDrive
hybrid system
3 door hybrid
1997 1VH669P72V6040198 Detroit Diesel Series 50 Allison B400R
Milton Transit 0805-a.jpg 1999 2B1669K74X5040008 Detroit Diesel Series 50 Allison B400R

Preserved units

Year Thumbnail VIN Original Owner Fleet Number Current Owner
1998 2B1669N75V5060003 New Jersey Transit 4000 Metropolitan Transportation Authority
1998 1VH669U72W6040322 Cambridge Transit/GRT 534 Private owner
1999 Ottawa-Carleton Regional Transit Commission 4024-a.jpg X6600089 OC Transpo 4024 OC Transpo


Orion Bus Industries / Orion International
Stratford Transit 9144-a.jpg
London Transit Commission 11-a.jpg
OC Transpo 8880-a.jpg
Niagara Parks Commission IV Tractor 3-a.jpg
Durham Region Transit 8063-a.jpg
Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority 11033-a.jpg
Toronto Transit Commission 8099-a.jpg
Orion Bus Industries 1291A.JPG
Mississauga Transit 1044-a.jpg
Orion I Orion II Orion III Orion IV Orion V Orion VI Orion VII Orion VII NG Orion VII EPA10