The latest fleet of Optare Tempo buses has entered service with Traws Cymru on the new T4 route linking Newtown, Llandrindod Wells, Builth Wells, Brecon, Merthyr Tydfil, Pontypridd and Cardiff.
The new fleet of vehicles, which have been carefully designed following consultation with passengers, are part of the £2.2m Welsh Government investment to improve and expand the former Traws Cambria bus network.
Speaking at the recent launch ceremony, Carl Sargeant the Minister with responsibility for Transport said: “Developing and encouraging the use of sustainable transport is key to improving connectivity across Wales.
“This new service between Newtown and Cardiff is the result of the Welsh Government listening to what people want, and delivering a green service that meets the needs of local communities by providing a key public transport link between major centres.”
The T4 route, operating once every two hours in each direction, Monday to Saturday, is the first to be introduced as part of a network of new Traws Cymru longer distance coach style services in the region.
The revamped service has been developed following consultation with passengers who requested a faster and direct service between key communities in eastern Powys and Cardiff and is funded by the Welsh Government as part of its commitment in the National Transport Plan for Wales to promote high quality, environmentally friendly public transport services across Wales.
With a round trip of almost 200 miles, passengers travelling along the route can expect a high level of comfort and luxury. The vehicles are double glazed with full climate control, and high backed, leather trimmed executive coach type seats are fitted throughout, together with parcel racks and a two-tier heavy-duty luggage pen.
There are two tables to the rear of the vehicle with fore and aft facing seats. Beneath each table is a twin, 240 volt power point for lap-top computer/mobile phone charging, and full Wi-Fi is provided throughout the vehicle so passengers can surf while they ride.
A GPRS controlled real-time passenger information system is fitted for convenient journey planning, together with an induction loop system to help the hearing impaired communicate more effectively with the driver. These features, coupled with a multi-speaker radio/CD player, and a driver’s hands free public address microphone, complete the comprehensive audio visual package.
Security, and passenger safety is assured via the 8 camera CCTV surveillance system which has a high definition hard drive recording facility.
Six, 12 metre Optare Tempo vehicles are dedicated to the T4 Service, and have high profile exterior branding to advertise the fact.
Powered by the 210kW Mercedes-Benz OM906LA, six cylinder turbo-charged engine, and driving through the Allison T310R fully automatic transmission, which has an integral retarder and a lock-up torque converter, the heavy-duty, low-weight integral construction used in the manufacturing process results in an exceptionally low unladen weight delivering reliability and class leading fuel efficiency.