Yesterday, Optare celebrated the handover of the pre production 11.1m Metrodecker demonstrator vehicle to UK Operator First Bus, for a series of extensive trials which will see Optare’s new double deck put through its paces operating on route X78 from Sheffield to Doncaster. The X78 route is a service route used by First Bus for extensive testing of all the major bus manufacturers’ vehicles.
Mark Munday, Technical Director at First Bus, commented: “We are pleased to be working with Optare to put the Metrodecker through its paces in South Yorkshire.
“First Bus is committed to continual improvement in environmental performance and are keen to test the fuel efficiency benefits for ourselves.”
Robert Drewery, Commercial Director, Optare said, “After an extremely successful trial at Reading Buses where we saw best in class mpg performance, both Optare and Ashok Leyland see great potential for the Metrodecker. I am delighted that the Metrodecker will be setting out to prove itself on a real world trial with one of the largest group operators in the UK. We will be monitoring its performance closely and we look forward to the feedback from First Bus.”
The Metrodecker is Optare’s newest addition to its vehicle portfolio. The low floor double deck has a fully integral frame, boasts light weight credentials, enviable fuel economy and class leading seating capacity. The Metrodecker is available in two lengths the single door measures in at 11.1metres and the two door at 10.5metres.
The Optare Metrocity will also undertake a similarly rigorous in-service programme in Halifax with First Bus this summer.