12 May 2015
Stagecoach are to launch 18 brand new vehicles in Dundee this month.
The vehicles, which are innovative diesel electric powered hybrid double deck buses, are to operate on the Tayway 73 route from June.
The new buses mark an investment of around £5.3m for public transport in Dundee and Angus and follows a £2.4m spend on luxury coaches for the Coastrider X7 in November 2014.
The vehicles were part funded by Transport Scotland's Green Bus Fund, which supplied £1.4m and aims to support environmental projects and developments in Scotland within the public transport industry.
The electric hybrids, manufactured by Alexander Dennis in Falkirk and Volvo in Sweden, use the latest technology to convert the normally wasted energy used in vehicle braking, into electricity which is then used to assist powering the bus.
Stagecoach East Scotland already have a fleet of 9 similar, single deck hybrids that operate in Perth and expect a 30% reduction in carbon emissions with the new buses.
One of the vehicles is to feature at a launch event in Dundee on Monday 25th May, a public holiday, as Stagecoach host a family friendly event to introduce the buses to the local community.
The company have arranged a bouncy castle, kids' entertainment and free goodies for the event, which will be held in the city square between 10am & 4pm on 25th May.
Andrew Jarvis, Managing Director, Stagecoach East Scotland said: "The launch of any new vehicles is an exciting time for us as we present our new buses to those who will rely on them the most, our customers. I hope to meet as many of them as possible at our launch event as we demonstrate one of the new buses, designed to be a greener alternative to a conventional bus whilst also providing a comfortable and connected journey with our free wifi.”
The new buses will enter service after the event on the Tayway 73, which connects Dundee city centre with Ninewells Hospital, Monifieth, Carnoustie and Arbroath. The route will continue to feature conductors on board and remains one of the few in the UK still have these, helping to speed up boarding times and providing improved customer service to passengers.
The route continues to operate every 10 minutes on Mondays to Fridays, every 20 minutes on Saturdays and every 30 minutes on Sundays. Coinciding with the introduction of the new vehicles, a minor timetable change with an extra journey via East Haven will take place on 1st June.
Mr Jarvis continued: "Our huge investment in the last 6 months shows we're not only committed to improving public transport in Dundee and Angus, we’re also determined to reduce our overall environmental impact. We continue to be at the forefront of new initiatives that makes travel by bus and coach more comfortable and convenient than ever before.”
The new vehicles will feature distinctive branding encouraging the public to 'Go Green' by trying the hybrid buses, and will also feature free wi-fi access on board.
Transport Minister Derek Mackay said: “The Scottish Government is committed to public transport and to our ambitious climate change target of reducing carbon emissions by 42 per cent by 2020. That is why I am delighted to see this fleet of hybrid vehicles come into service.
“The fact the Scottish Green Bus Fund incentivises bus industry investment is a clear indication of the benefits of our continued support for the latest emission reducing technology. This new fleet not only offers more attractive vehicles for passengers, it also encourages greater use of public transport which, in turn, brings health and social benefits.”
The current vehicles in use on route 73 will replace a number of older vehicles in the East Scotland fleet, or will be transferred to other areas of the country.
The timetable for the Tayway 73 route is available to download at www.stagecoachbus.com, more information on the service, vehicles and launch is also available online.