TTC loans DRT ten buses to help deal with devastating fire at Oshawa bus depot

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Published August 29, 2023 at 8:46 am

Photo Javon Howard

The Toronto Transit Commission (TTC) has loaned Durham Region Transit (DRT) ten branded buses to help the Durham transit company deal with the effects of a devastating fire August 16 at DRT’s Oshawa bus depot that destroyed 19 buses.

The temporary loan will also help DRT better prepare for planned service enhancements and the back-to-school rush coming September 5

The depot, located on Raleigh Avenue near Harmony Road and Bloor Street, was the home of DRT’s fleet of eight electric buses but the Ontario Fire Marshall’s Office has not yet released its report on the blaze or it cause, so it is unknown if the fire was caused by an electrical shortage.

Nearly a third of DRT’s fleet in Oshawa went up in smoke in the three-alarm blaze that started in the three-bay bus storage area, which was completely destroyed due to the high fire load of the stored buses. Photos of the scene show the building roof collapsing as fire crews try to douse the flames.

The fire caused chaos with route scheduling which the temporary 10-bus loan from the TTC will help alleviate.

The Toronto buses will still carry the TTC logo but may include decals or other temporary markings to identify them as DRT buses. All route numbers remain unchanged and will be displayed on bus destination signs.

The TTC buses, which will be located at the Westney bus depot in Ajax, will service Durham routes only.

Transit agencies across the Greater Toronto and Hamilton Area (GTHA) reached out to DRT immediately after the fire to offer their assistance.  “TTC’s support during this challenging time is a testament to the strong partnership among transit agencies in supporting public transit travel across the GTHA,” DRT said in a statement, while thanking the Toronto company for “supporting DRT as we prepare to proceed with service updates.”

The 10 TTC buses are a key component to implementing the scheduled September service updates. These service updates include schedule changes and service enhancements to reflect the return to school and work following summer vacation, changes to some bus stops, and new service.

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