Manchester invests £3.5m in more hybrids and first electric Optare buses

As a leader in electric and hybrid bus technology, Optare is delighted to announce that Transport for Greater Manchester (TfGM) has ordered 16 more buses, including hybrids and its first electric models, which will bring the total to 115 low carbon Optare buses operating in the conurbation.

The order, worth £3.5m, was supported by the Department for Transport’s Green Bus Fund, and consists Versa hybrid 12m-long school buses and Versa 9.7m-long electric buses - the first fully electric low access buses to be used in Manchester. The first vehicles are expected to be in operation in July. 

The Versa hybrid buses will be used for the Yellow School Bus scheme introduced in Greater Manchester in 2003 to provide a safe, reliable and environmentally friendly alternative for the school run. To comply with specific safety regulations for this service, the Versa hybrids are fitted with lap and diagonal seat belts as well as interior and exterior CCTV video recorders. The Versa electric vehicles will operate on the Metroshuttle routes linking the main rail stations, car parks, shopping areas and businesses in Manchester city centre.

Howard Hartley, TfGM Head of Bus, said: “We are committed to investing in buses with low carbon emissions and strong environmental credentials as part of a collective effort with operators to make Greater Manchester’s bus network – which caters for 216 million journeys a year – as green as possible.

“We have been happy with the performance and reliability of our current buses, and the support we have received from Optare, so are pleased to be expanding the number of hybrid vehicles within our fleet.” He continued.

John Horn, Sales Director at Optare, said: “Optare has had a strong start to 2014, so we are particularly pleased to announce another high value order. Transport for Greater Manchester’s decision to invest in more of Optare’s advanced hybrid and electric powered buses is a great testament to the reliability and cost effectiveness of our vehicles.” 

For further information please contact:
Rebecca Green, Marketing Co-ordinator
T: +44 (0) 7810 158 415
E: rebecca.green@optare.com