Limerick City hosts Bus Éireann’s launch of its new Electric Double Decker Fleet

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    The hush afforded to kickers in Thomond Park will now be matched by a new fleet of Double Decker buses in Limerick City.

    Limerick’s city bus service, operated by Bus Éireann, is set to become Ireland’s first fully electric regional city bus service, as part of a €54 million investment by the National Transport Authority (NTA).

    The new services is were launched by Minister for Transport Eamon Ryan TD at Limerick’s Colbert Station on Friday, 12 April.

    As part of the investment, a total of 55 new state-of-the-art double deck battery-electric buses, operated by Ireland’s national bus company, Bus Éireann, will service more than 2.1 million emission-free kilometres across Limerick city service annually. Currently, 34 all-electric buses are in Limerick ahead of their introduction into service en-masse, with a further 21 of these buses expected to enter service in early 2025.

    The all-electric service will be enabled by a network of 35 Hitachi Energy charging stations (providing a total of 70 charging guns), with 15 of these charging stations already in place. The remaining 20 charging stations are expected to be operational in early 2025.

    Building on recent YoY passenger growth

    The NTA’s investment builds on recent double-digit YoY (year-on-year) passenger growth across Bus Éireann’s Limerick city services. In 2023, Bus Éireann operated over 44 million passenger journeys nationally. Of those, 4.6 million were in Limerick, representing a 15% increase (600,000 additional journeys) compared to 2022.

    Investing in people and infrastructure

    The all-electric buses will be charged using newly-installed charging infrastructure at Limerick’s Roxboro depot. Construction and installation work was carried out by Hitachi Energy.

    Bus Éireann employs in excess of 300 people in Limerick and continues to invest in growing the team across all of its operations.

    In preparation for the new all-electric service, Bus Éireann drivers and mechanics have undergone a comprehensive training programme – more than 500 hours – on the driving, maintenance and operation of the state-of-the-art new fleet.

    The investment builds on the success of Ireland’s first ever all-electric town bus service launched in Athlone in January 2023.

    Minister Ryan quote: ‘It is great to see the launch of electrified bus services in Limerick city today. This follows on from the successful rollout of a fully electrified town bus service in Athlone last year and the ongoing decarbonisation of the Dublin bus fleet. Government is committed to the greening of our public transport services and today represents an important step toward meeting our climate targets, while also providing a quieter, cleaner bus service for the people of Limerick. In other city and town locations people have responded to the transformation of our public transport services in their droves and I fully expect it will be the very same here in Limerick’.

    CEO of the National Transport Authority Anne Graham said: “The introduction of the 34 state-of-the-art electric buses today in Limerick marks a milestone in the NTA’s ongoing commitment to decarbonising the urban bus fleet. These zero- emission vehicles will not only provide a smoother, more accessible journey for our customers, but will also significantly reduce CO2 emissions and noise pollution in the areas they operate.

    This investment highlights the NTA’s dedication to creating a cleaner, greener and more efficient future for the people of Limerick”.

    Speaking in advance of the launch, Stephen Kent, Chief Executive Officer, Bus Éireann said: “We are delighted to launch our first ever all-electric city bus service. Our mission is to help make life better and this transformative €54 investment in new zero emission fleet, funded by the NTA, helps us reduce greenhouse gas emissions, providing a cleaner and greener public transport solution for everyone in Limerick city. “In the months ahead, we will see a total of 55 new all-electric double deck buses in service. This, coupled with investment in Roxboro Depot in Limerick City, will see Bus Éireann deliver a cleaner, quieter and enhanced customer experience for our 4.6 million Limerick city service passengers annually.

    “Finally, I would also like to recognise the support of the Department of Transport and the National Transport Authority, together with the exceptional commitment on the part of our team in Limerick and all of the great companies who collaborated to deliver this exceptional transformation. I am confident it will enrich the lives of this and future generations”