Text by James Bow and Robert Lubinski
- A Brief History of Orion Bus Industries
- The Orion I
- The Orion II
- The Orion III / Ikarus Articulated
- The Orion V
- The Orion VI
- The Orion VII
On TTC rosters, the Ontario Bus Industries Orion class vehicle makes an odd jump. Versions 1, 2, 3 and 5 all served some time on the Commission, so where is the Orion IV?
The Orion IV was an unusual custom-built design commissioned by the Niagara Parks Commission. The NPC was looking for a people mover to serve tourists getting around Niagara Falls. Rather than invest in the infrastructure for a rail-based or monorail-based people mover, they wanted a rubber-tired vehicle that could ply city streets. Despite these vehicles being no different than a bus, the NPC did not want something that looked like a bus.
In 1985, Ontario Bus Industries produced the Orion IV “People Mover”, a bus and trailer designed to look more like a futuristic tourist ride than a conventional bus. This two-unit bus train had a powered 37.5 foot “tractor” unit coupled to a 35.5 foot “trailer”. Eleven tractor-trailor units were purchased by the NPC in all. Another experimental feature was that these buses operated using liquified petroleum gas, to offer a quieter ride with fewer emissions.
The people mover buses served Niagara Falls for decades, before being retired around 2012 and replaced by a conventional bus network.
Orion IV Image Archive
Orion IV Bus NEC 6 pauses at a stop on the Niagara People Mover in Niagara Falls, Ontario. This shot was taken on July 29, 2007 by Will Tung.
Niagara Parks Commission people mover #12 and its trailer pick up passengers at Clifton Hill on August 12, 1989. Photo by D. Chalmers, courtesy the John Knight collection.
- Articulated Bus, Toronto Transit Commission, Toronto (Ontario), 1990.
- Bus World Encyclopedia of Buses, Stauss Publications, Woodland Hills (California), 1988.
- Diesel City Bus, Toronto Transit Commission, Toronto (Ontario), 1991.
- “Orion International.” - CPTDB Wiki. Canadian Public Transit Discussion Board, 10 Mar. 2014. Web. 21 July 2014.