Optare has confirmed its first order for their Metrodecker Euro 6 double decker bus, four years after it was launched. The order from Reading Buses for five vehicles to operate on the Green Line 702 route between London and Windsor is due for delivery in June 2019 ahead of the London Ultra Low Emission Zone (ULEZ) coming into operation, requiring all vehicles operating into central London to meet Euro6 engine emission standards.
Optare and Reading Buses have worked together to develop a bespoke high specification Metrodecker with over 70 coach-style high backed seats with headrests, wood laminate flooring, at-seat USB charging points, mobile phone holders, seatback tables and 4G WiFi. They will also be fitted with three-point seatbelts.
Martijn Gilbert, chief executive officer, Reading Buses, says: “We returned to buying Optare’s British-built products, after a long break, at the end of 2016, purchasing four Solos for the prestigious Vodafone contract at our Newbury depot. The operation of those vehicles has proved very successful.”
John Bickerton, head of engineering and innovation, Reading Buses, adds: “The Metrodecker order follows us first evaluating the vehicle with a pre-production demonstrator. Two years ago, we put the Metrodecker through its paces for its first ever in service shakedown trial, but what is most impressive is that two years on, the demonstrator vehicle currently in service with us is still giving great performance, class leading fuel economy, demonstrating a very robust build quality and is getting great feedback from drivers and customers alike.
“With Optare’s recent further investment in aftersales support, and a can-do attitude in working to meet our bespoke specification, the Metrodecker is clearly the bus for us.”
Robert Drewery, Optare commercial director, says: “We are delighted to have the opportunity to expand our partnership with such an innovative operator as Reading Buses. We relish the challenge and opportunity to work with the Reading team in stretching the boundaries of bus specification on our first ever Metrodecker Euro6 order.”
Graham Belgum, Optare president says, “This order is fantastic news for Optare and I am confident that after all the positive feedback we have had from operators, drivers and passengers alike about the Metrodecker Euro6 and EV demonstrators’ performance that this order will be the first of many.”