Manchester Community Transport (MCT) is to introduce hybrids into its fleet for the first time with an order placed with Optare today, Thursday 14 March, for ten Solo SRs.
Delivery in the summer of the 9.2 metre Solo SRs will effectively double the current MCT bus fleet. The new vehicles will operate on 12 service routes across a number of towns within the Greater Manchester area under five year contracts awarded by TfGM (Transport for Greater Manchester).
The buses were part-funded through a successful bid by TfGM to round three of the Department for Transport’s Green Bus Fund.
Gary Young, Operations Director at MCT, said: “We are delighted to have been awarded these contracts by TfGM and making the investment to purchase these hybrid buses demonstrates our level of commitment to providing modern, low-floor, cleaner, quieter and more fuel efficient buses for the communities that we serve.
“Placing this order with Optare followed an extensive procurement process from which the Optare product was selected because of the outstanding value for money that it represents. We also acknowledged the product support available to us locally as a result of the large number of TfGM-owned Optare hybrid products now operating in Greater Manchester following previous bids to the Green Bus Fund.”
The Solo SRs are to a comprehensive specification in line with TfGM and MCT requirements. This includes a seven camera CCTV system by Actia along with a telematics package. Mobitec LED destination blinds will be fitted.
There will be seating for 31 on Esteban Civic V2 seats, which will be trimmed in a moquette specially designed for MCT. With their kneeling capability, book-leaf wheelchair ramp and ample space for wheelchairs or buggies the buses will meet all current and known future DDA requirements.
A Euro 5 compliant Mercedes-Benz OM904LA engine provides the diesel power and delivers 130 kW (154 bhp) at 2200 rpm. The electrical system by Siemens includes energy storage in roof-mounted maintenance-free Bluways ultra capacitors. This combination can result in up to a 30% reduction in greenhouse gas emissions when compared to a similar sized diesel engined bus.
John Horn, Optare sales director, commented: “We’re very pleased to be supplying these advanced hybrid Solo SRs to such a progressive independent operator as MCT. There are already over 100 of our hybrid products successfully operating in the Greater Manchester area and contributing significantly to providing high quality and environmentally friendly public transport services for the million plus people who live there”.