Optare has formally handed over six of its Slimline Solo model to Strathclyde Partnership for Transport (SPT) at an event at Glasgow’s Buchanan Bus Station.
SPT Assistant Chief Executive Eric Stewart received the Solos from John Horn, Optare’s sales director. Also present was John Henderson, managing director of Henderson Travel, who will operate the buses on behalf of SPT.
Mr Stewart said: “These buses are finished to the highest standard and I’m delighted that our passengers will benefit from these excellent facilities. Their low access capability means that they can be used by people of all mobility levels and the in-built CCTV system provides great peace of mind for those on board.”
John Horn added that he was delighted to be handing over the vehicles to SPT. “This is an established customer for our Solo product and this repeat order shows that the model is performing well and meeting both their operational requirements and the expectations of their passengers.”
The 7.2 metre Solos have been allocated to three rural routes for which the narrower 2.3 metre width of the SlimLine version is well suited. Even in its slimmer version the Solo SR has a passenger capacity of 23 on 21 fixed Ster 6MS seats and two tip-ups in the wheelchair bay.
Power is from the fuel efficient Mercedes-Benz OM904LA Euro five engine rated at 127 bhp (95kW). Fuel economy is further enhanced by the low weight of the bus, which is just 5480kg, the use of an electro-magnetic retarder, and the incorporation of a torque converter in the Allison 1000 Series five-speed automatic transmission. The resulting level of fuel economy makes the Solo viable even at times of the day when passenger loadings are light.
A full Actia telematics package fitted to each of the buses monitors systems performance and provides a remote diagnostics capability should a problem occur during service. It also supports the Optare EcoDrive™ dashboard through which driver performance is constantly monitored for real-time feedback leading to improved fuel efficiency and increased comfort and safety for passengers.
Part of the package includes an incident alert system. This enables the driver to simply press a button to both alert the traffic office to the problem, and automatically record CCTV footage on the hard drive for review when the bus returns to the depot.
Picture caption: Left to right: John Horn, Optare Sales Director; John Henderson, Managing Director of Henderson Travel; SPT Assistant Chief Executive Eric Stewart.