Optare are pleased to announce that the Metrocity, 11.5m, Euro 6, demonstrator vehicle has completed a very successful real-world trial with one of the UK’s largest operators, First Bus. The trial has seen Optare’s Metrocity put through its paces operating on the high frequency Red Arrow services 521, 522 and 523, from Halifax to Ovenden and Illingworth (north of Halifax).
Mark Munday, Technical Director at First Bus, commented: “First Bus invest in a unique and rigorous approach to testing, evaluating and procuring new vehicles. In addition to extensive fuel efficiency and performance testing on the track we also conduct real-world operation trials, on actual routes throughout the First Bus network. Working with manufacturers in this way means that we can gather robust data to inform the purchase of vehicles that support Local Authority agendas and positively impact carbon and air quality in town and city centres across the UK, while ensuring that we deliver the best experience for our passengers.
The trial of the Metrocity builds on the work we started last year with Optare, which included a comprehensive assessment of the Metrodecker. After the success of the Metrodecker trial we were particularly keen to evaluate the Metrocity and gain passenger and driver feedback. It has performed really well and it is great to see more Low Carbon certified buses being made available to benefit the environment.”
Robert Drewery, Commercial Director, Optare said, “In light of service experience, expectations of the Metrocity’s performance were high, and we were not disappointed. The Euro 6 vehicle is Low Carbon certified and met or exceeded competitive benchmarks throughout the assessment. Feedback from drivers and customers has been extremely positive, particularly around the driveability, smooth ride and the comfort of the vehicle. It is great to see more efficient buses being made available to benefit the environment.”
The Metrocity is a relatively recent addition to the Optare vehicle portfolio that has been very well received by operators in particular because of its impressive fuel-efficiency. The lightest in class, low floor single deck has a fully integral frame, enviable fuel economy and impressive seating capacity. The Metrocity is available in three lengths (10.1m, 10.8m and 11.5m), with a single door. The 10.1m and 10.8m also available in a two door TfL specification, both as a Euro 6 diesel and as an electric bus.
The Optare Metrodecker undertook a similarly rigorous in-service programme with First Bus last summer on route X78 from Sheffield to Doncaster, where the vehicle was met with very positive feedback from First Bus, passengers and drivers. The Metrocity will shortly commence a further in-service assessment with First Hampshire & Dorset.