The National Transport Authority (NTA) has commenced the procurement process for up to 800 double-deck battery electric buses as part of a shift towards greater sustainability in the public transport fleet.
The process is part of a continued effort to transition to low and zero emission buses as provided for in Project Ireland 2040 and the Climate Action Plan. The NTA intends to purchase up to 800 buses under this Framework Agreement over a period of five years, with the first buses expected to arrive in the second half of 2022.
The buses will meet the relevant definition of a ‘zero emission vehicle’ in line with the EU’s revised Directive on the promotion of clean and energy-efficient road transport vehicles which is expected to come into force in late 2021. The vehicles will operate with zero tailpipe-emissions, which will contribute to a substantial improvement in air quality in the cities and towns to be served by these buses.
Minister for the Environment, Climate, Communications & Transport, Eamon Ryan commented on the development: “Going electric will reduce the carbon footprint of our public transport fleet, and will help us reach our long-term climate goals. These new electric buses will also help reduce air pollution, improve public health and improve access to public transport for people of all abilities. I welcome the announcement and look forward to seeing cleaner and greener buses in operation in our cities and towns”.
Chief Executive Officer of the National Transport Authority, Anne Graham added: “The transition to a zero-emission bus fleet is a central component of our BusConnects project, and the procurement of these battery electric buses represents a key milestone in that process. By providing more accessible and sustainable methods of public transport we will reduce the need for personal vehicles, making the quality of the air we breathe healthier for everyone”.
The buses are intended for use on urban bus services in all major cities in Ireland, as well as on some town bus services. The exterior of the buses will feature the green, yellow and white Transport for Ireland, (TFI) livery, a minimum of 41 seats on the upper deck and a minimum of 19 seats on the lower deck, with the length of the bus not exceeding 11.50 metres
Under the framework the buses will be outfitted with:
- a wide front passenger doorway capable of being fitted with a wide powered ramp suitable for unaided wheelchair access;
- a permanent wheelchair space;
- a dedicated area for the accommodation of at least one unfolded pram or pushchair or buggy;
- distinctive priority seating; and
- a wide centre passenger doorway capable of being fitted with a wide manual ramp suitable for unaided wheelchair access.
Pictured at the launch of the new hybrid bus fleet featuring the new Transport for Ireland livery were:Minister of State, Hildegarde Naughton TD, Anne Graham, CEO of the NTA, Stephen Kent, CEO, Bus Éireann and Ray Coyne, CEO, Dublin Bus.
PIC JULIEN BEHAL PHOTOGRAPHY