It’s the dawn of a new era for Victoria’s tourism industry as the city’s vintage sightseeing buses are being replaced by newer, more eco-friendly forms of transportation.
Tourism Victoria says they’re retiring the older, double-decker buses — including a Leyland Routemaster that dates back to 1959 — in favour of a new generation of fuel-efficient Alexander Dennis Enviro 400 buses. These new double-deckers are said to be quieter and more comfortable for passengers.
“It is time to embrace a new generation and do our part as good corporate citizens in our hometown,” says John Wilson, President and CEO of the Wilson’s Group of companies, which includes Grey Line Sightseeing.
“We loved those old buses and know that many people who rode them did as well. They have a fascinating charm from playing an important role in transportation history, which is why we’re happy to preserve at least some of them for ceremonial functions.”
The Victoria HarbourCats baseball club has already hinted that they will be incorporating at least one of the old buses into a newly redesigned viewing area and group outing option for next season.
This past week marked the end of service for eight of the buses, which had served the Capital Region for decades. Starting Saturday, all tours on Sightseeing Victoria’s Hop-On Hop-Off CitySights will be on the new vehicles.
In addition to the HarbourCats, Wilson says the old buses could be used in parades or parked as displays during special events. Other buses will be made available to interested collectors from around the world.