An Optare Solo midibus now in service on the Isle of Mull is following one of the most scenic bus routes in Scotland, and one of the most Westerly.
Bowman’s Coaches (Mull) Limited has put the 9.0 metre SlimLine Solo into service on its 494 service connecting Tobermory in the north east corner of the Isle with Calgary on the west coast.
It’s a route that affords passengers sightings of red deer, eagles and seals and which ends with fabulous views of the Atlantic across Calgary Bay towards the islands of Tiree and Coll.
The company chose the SlimLine Solo at 2.3 metres in width to cope better with the narrow and twisting single track road that makes up the eight mile route. Its capacity to carry 31 passengers on fixed Ster 6MS seats plus two tip-ups in the wheelchair space means that it can cope well with seasonal fluctations in passenger numbers. And its low entry height and large expanse of flat floor in the forward part of the saloon make it easy to use by passengers with reduced mobility.
A Euro 5 compliant Mercedes-Benz OM904LA engine provides 154 bhp (115 kW) and 610 Nm of torque to cope with the hilly terrain. The five-speed automatic transmission from the Allison 2100 Series has a lock-up torque converter for improved fuel economy, which is also enhanced by the electro-magnetic retarder actuated automatically during braking.
Bowman’s has specified Mobitec LED destination equipment to the front and nearside.