Orion Bus Industries 'Orion VI'

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Orion VI
Brampton Transit 9862-a.jpg
Years of manufacture 1995 to 2004
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 their first full sized low floor transit bus. The Government of Ontario, who owned the bus manufacturer at the time, 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 APTA Expo. Regular production began in 1996, with Brampton Transit receiving the first buses. Production continued to 2004 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. After 2000, the Orion VI was produced solely with the mid-mounted door and raised floor height 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.



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Demonstrator and engineering units

Below is a list of known demonstrator and engineering buses

Fleet number Thumbnail Year VIN Engine Transmission Notes
  • 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 Cummins L10G Allison B400R
2000 1995 2B1669K76S5040004 Cummins L10G Allison B400R
1996 2B1669K7XT5040007 Cummins L10G Allison B400R
  • 3 door CNG
Orion Bus Industries 6001-a.jpg 1997 2B1669N71V5060001 Detroit Diesel Series 30 Lockheed Martin HybriDrive
hybrid system
  • 3 door hybrid
1997 Detroit Diesel Series 50 Allison B400R
Milton Transit 0805-a.JPG 1999 Detroit Diesel Series 50 Allison B400R

Preserved coaches

Year Thumbnail VIN Original Owner Fleet Number Current Owner
1998 2B1669N75V5060003 New Jersey Transit 4000 Metropolitan Transportation Authority
1999 Ottawa-Carleton Regional Transit Commission 4024-a.jpg X6600089 OC Transpo 4024 OC Transpo

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