Nova Bus

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Nova Bus
Company Type Private
Foundation 1993
Location Saint-Eustache, Quebec, Canada
Area Served Canada, United States
Parent Volvo Buses
Industry Bus manufacturing
Products Transit buses

Nova Bus is a bus manufacturer based in Saint-Eustache, Quebec, Canada. The company is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Volvo Buses.


The original logo used by Nova Bus until 2002. Many Nova vehicles built through 2002 still carry this logo. Note: Exact font used may differ from the actual font.

In 1979, General Motors (GM) began production of their New Look transit bus in St-Eustache, Quebec after they were awarded a 1200-unit order for the province's transit agencies.[1] GM introduced the Classic in 1982 as the successor to the New Look, which continued to be produced alongside the Classic for four more years. When GM decided to exit the transit bus market, Motor Coach Industries purchased their transit bus division in 1987 and continued production of the Classic in St-Eustache. By the early 1990s, Dial, which owned MCI, intended to sell their transportation manufacturing and service divisions. The St-Eustache facility was faced with closure.[2]

Nova Bus was formed in 1993 by individuals from Nova Quintech and the Fonds de solidarité des travailleurs du Québec to acquire MCI's St-Eustache facility and continue producing buses. Nova Quintech was formed two years earlier after a group of investors purchased the assets of the bankrupt fire truck manufacturer Camions Pierre Thibault Inc. The Government of Quebec agreed to contribute a $2.5-million, interest-free loan, and $10 million in loan guarantees. In addition, they agreed to purchase over 300 buses between 1993 and 1994.[2] The sale of the MCI's St-Eustache operations occurred on July 6, 1993.[3]

MCI, including Transportation Manufacturing Corporation (TMC), was spun-off from Dial in 1993, and in 1994, merged with DINA SA. Not long after, DINA sold TMC's assets to Nova Bus in October 1994. Nova acquired the Roswell, New Mexico and Schenectady, New York facilities.[4] They continued to produce the popular RTS transit bus, and completed final assembly of the Classic to meet Buy America requirements.

Early on, Nova Bus began development of a low floor transit bus. A Den Oudsten Bussen Alliance City bus was imported to Quebec for evaluation. In a transfer of technology, Nova Bus used the Alliance as a basis for their LFS (Low Floor Series/System).[2] At the annual meeting of the American Public Transportation Association in 1994, Nova formally unveiled the LFS. The bus stood out in North America with its sloping front, large single-piece windshield, and round headlights. Production began in 1996, with the first buses going to the Société de transport de la communauté urbaine de Montréal.

At the end of 1997, Volvo announced that its subsidiary Prevost Car would purchase Nova Bus. At the time, Prevost was 51 percent owned by Volvo and 49 percent owned by Henleys Group. Both Prevost and Nova became wholly-owned subsidiaries of Volvo in 2004.

With a growing trend toward low floor buses, Nova Bus ended production of the Classic in 1997. Citing the same reason, Nova's parent companies announced the end of production of the RTS and the closing of the Roswell facility in 2002. The facility in Schenectady was also closed at the end of the year. Two former Volvo employees formed Millennium Transit Services to revive production at the Roswell facility.[5] They acquired the factory as well as the RTS design and began producing buses in 2005.

On February 2, 2008, Nova Bus announced plans for the construction of a new assembly plant in Plattsburgh, New York.[6] It would be relatively close to the Canadian boarder and in the state with America's largest transit agency. The plant was officially opened on June 15, 2009, marking Nova Bus's return to the American market.[7] The facility was expanded in 2014 to include a production line for Prevost coaches after they were awarded a contract for 300 X3-45 commuter coaches by the Metropolitan Transportation Authority.[8] Volvo reconfigured the Plattsburgh assembly line for electric transit buses at the conclusion of the MTA contract and has announced plans to close Plattsburgh all together as part of its plan to exit the United States market (see below).

By March 2020 COVID-19 had spread further into Canada and the United States. As part of a number of measures taken by the Quebec Government, all non-essential businesses in Quebec were closed as of March 24, 2020. The majority of Nova Bus's operations at their St-Eustache and St-François-du-Lac facilities were suspended. The day before, Nova Bus had to suspend operations at their Plattsburgh facility as part of measures taken by the State of New York.[9][10] By the end of May 2020, Nova Bus was able to gradually reopen their manufacturing facilities in Quebec. This was followed by their facility in Plattsburgh early in June 2020.

Nova Bus introduced a number of items to ensure safety on board their buses during the COVID-19 pandemic. Their Econo Barrier provides a quick, temporary bio shield for bus operators. Nova Bus also offers COVID-19 related information decals, restricted seat/area barriers, and social/physical distancing decals.[11]

On June 21, 2023, Nova Bus announced that it would cease bus production for the United States market by 2025, closing its Plattsburgh, New York plant by that time.[12] Previously, it had been announced that Prevost would no longer produce the X3-45 "Buy America" compliant coach in Plattsburgh.

Electro Mobility and Smart Bus features

Electro Mobility is a system of electric transit solutions designed to increase efficiency and decrease environmental impact. Nova launched their Electro Mobility concept at the 2011 APTA EXPO in New Orleans. The system includes electric accessories and electric propulsion, with battery-electric, plug-in hybrid electric, electro-magnetic induction, and electric trolleybus under consideration. It was also at this time that Nova Bus presented their battery-electric powered LFSe.

Nova Bus first offered electric engine cooling on their LFS in 2009, with such example as a retrofit on an STM hybrid bus using EMP's miniHYBRID system. In 2011, Nova announced their SMART BUS concept which centred on their own eCooling electric engine cooling system. This includes a Modine radiator. More electric accessories became available such as electric power steering and HVAC. Other features were later promoted under the SMART BUS moniker. These included the new interior design, a new rear design incorporating a 2013 Cummins engine, HePEX tubing, and thermoplastic skirt panels (which have been offered since the introduction of the LFS). Nova's parent Volvo has used the HePEX tubing system (crosslinked polyethylene tubing) for a number of years in their buses.


  • St-François-du-Lac (155 Boul. Marie-Victorin, St-François-du-Lac, Quebec) - manufactures LFS structures and several other parts and components for both assembly plants[13]
  • Saint-Eustache (1000 Boul. Industriel, St-Eustache, Quebec) - Headquarters, as well as full assembly of LFS'[14]
  • Plattsburgh (260 Banker Rd., Plattsburgh, NY) - full assembly of LFS' for USA customers[15]

Current products

  • LFS - 40 foot low floor transit bus with standard diesel drivetrain. Launched in 1995. Available in Suburban and Shuttle configurations since 2005.
    • LFSe - 40 foot low floor transit bus with electric drivetrain. Launched in 2011.
    • LFSe+ - 40 foot low floor transit bus with electric drivetrain (long range). Launched in 2019.
    • LFS HEV - 40 foot low floor transit bus with diesel electric hybrid drivetrain. Launched in 2006.
    • LFS Natural Gas - 40 foot low floor transit bus with compressed natural gas drivetrain. Launched in 2013.
  • LFS Artic - 62 foot low floor articulated transit bus. Launched in 2008.
  • LFX - BRT styling. Launched in 2008.

Past products

See also


  1. Ross, Nancy L. Businessmen in Quebec: Public Enemies, "Men Without Souls," "Sellouts," or Worse?Is Businessmen Quebec's Public Enemy? 17 March 1978. The Washington Post.
  3. "Bus Maker Wins Order, Rehires: FINAL Edition." The Gazette, 1993.
  4. SAUNDERS, JOHN. "Novabus Acquires U.S. Bus Maker More Layoffs at Ontario Bus." The Globe and Mail, 1994.
  5. Winthrop Quigley Journal Staff Writer. "New Team Buys Roswell Plant: Final Edition." Albuquerque Journal, 2003.
  6. Heath, Dan (02 February 2008). Bus-assembly plant proposed for Plattsburgh. Press Republican (Plattsburgh). Retrieved on 03 August 2009.
  7. Nova Bus’ Plattsburgh plant officially open (Press release). Nova Bus. 15 June 2009. Retrieved on 03 August 2009.
  8. Governor Cuomo Announces Prevost Begins Production of MTA Buses in Newly Expanded Facility in Plattsburgh. Press release. 22 December 2014.
  9. "Message to Nova Bus customers regarding COVID-19 (Updated on April 16)." Press release. Nova Bus, 16 April 2020.
  10. Tison, Marc. "Face à la crise: terminus (temporaire) chez Nova Bus." La Presse, 25 March 2020.
  11. "Nova Bus offers new products to promote safety and cleanliness onboard its public transit vehicles as operations in sites gradually resume during the COVID-19 pandemic." Press release. Nova Bus, 11 May 2020.
  12. Nova Bus changes its business model and ends bus production in the US, press release from Nova Bus, 21 June 2023.
  13. Facilities – St-François-du-Lac, Retrieved on 03 August 2009.
  14. Facilities – St-Eustache, Retrieved on 03 August 2009.
  15. Facilities – Plattsburgh, Retrieved on 03 August 2009.

External links

Nova Bus
LFS Transit · LFS Suburban · LFS Shuttle · LFS HEV · LFS Natural Gas · LFSe · LFSe+ · LFS Artic · LFX
RTS-06 · RTS-06 WFD
Classic TC40-102N · TC60-102N
Transit Buses
Types Articulated Bus · Bus Rapid Transit · Double Decker Bus · Low Floor Bus · Highway Coach · Shuttle Bus · Trolley Bus
Fuel Compressed Natural Gas · Diesel · Diesel-Electric Hybrid · Gasoline · Hydrogen Fuel Cell · Liquified Natural Gas
Manufacturers Alexander Dennis · Blue Bird · BYD Auto · Commercial Truck Equipment Co. · ElDorado National · Environmental Performance Vehicles · Ford · Gillig · IC Bus · Motor Coach Industries · New Flyer Industries · North American Bus Industries · Nova Bus · Optima Bus · Orion International · Prevost Car · Proterra · Scania · Setra · Stewart & Stevenson · Thomas Built Buses · Van Hool · Volvo Buses
VIN Pages Alexander Dennis · American Ikarus · AM General · APS Systems · Blue Bird · BYD Auto · Champion · Crown Coach Corporation · Crown Ikarus · Designline · Eagle · Ebus · ElDorado National · Environmental Performance Vehicles · Flxible · Flyer Industries · Ford · General Motors · Gillig · Graf & Stift · Greenpower Motor Company · IC Bus · Ikarus USA · Maschinenfabrik Augsburg-Nürnberg · Millennium Transit Services · Motor Coach Industries · National Coach Corporation · Neoplan USA · New Flyer Industries · North American Bus Industries · Nova Bus · Optima Bus · Orion Bus Industries · Prevost Car · Proterra · Saab-Scania · Setra · Stewart & Stevenson · TEMSA · Thomas Built Buses · Transportation Manufacturing Corporation · TransBus International · Van Hool · Volvo Buses · Western Flyer Coach