Congratulations to Red River College donor Jan den Oudsten for his recent appointment to the Order of Canada, an incredible honour. Jan was appointed for his inventive designs in bus manufacturing and for his contributions to the professional development of the next generation of transportation innovators.
Jan den Oudsten’s contributions to the vehicle research sector have made a significant impact around the world over his 50 years in the industry. He purchased New Flyer in 1986 and introduced his vision for European-style accessible low-floor technology to the North American transit market, ensuring all passengers – including those with significant mobility challenges – are able to travel on regular transit services in cities across the continent.
Den Oudsten was also involved in pioneering hydrogen fuel cell technology applications, and was the first to introduce a 60-foot articulated diesel-electric hybrid bus. In 1999, he unveiled the Invero, New Flyer’s state-of-the-art new transit bus design. Under his leadership, New Flyer expanded to over 2000 employees. Today, New Flyer has more than 44,000 buses in service, just over 7,300 of which are electric powered and 1,600 are zero emission.
In 2019, Jan and his wife Maria provided a transformative gift to RRC and officially renamed the College’s Heavy Equipment Transportation Centre. The 60,000 square-foot training and research facility is now proudly named the Jan den Oudsten Vehicle Technology & Research Centre (VTRC).