Kent’s largest independent bus operator, go-coach has just taken delivery of its first new bus, a Metrocity 10.8m direct from Optare.
The 37-seat bus is painted gold to mark go-coach hire’s 10th anniversary this year and is being used on route 431 from Sevenoaks to Orpington. This takes the gold bus into the predominantly TfL red bus world in Orpington and has already received positive comments from passengers. “We wanted to do something special and already having 20 Optare Solo and Versa products in the fleet, Optare was our natural choice for a new bus. I cannot fault the help and service Chris Hunt and Optare have given to us.” Austin Blackburn, Managing Director said.
The bus features USB charging points and a CD player for passenger comfort. “We are pushing our passengers to use their phones to track our buses and access bus information, but until now we have not given them the opportunity to charge their mobile devices. As we all know a well-used phone may not last a day. Passenger consultation has shown that most people have 4G on their phones so wi-fi is now not needed” Austin added.
One of the buses regular drivers commented how warm, comfortable and relaxing it is to drive, “The Metrocity has Cummins Euro 5 engine, coupled to a Allison 2100 gearbox. “We decided to not go for euro 6 as I feel the Mercedes engine is a complex product, and the Cummins is very well known to us. It is relatively simple, with good maintenance access, and smooth, put powerful 201 HP engine.”
Andy Wells, go-coach Operations Manager, said, “The new vehicle is a substantial improvement on the 10-year-old vehicles which this route commenced with last year. Primarily this bus will operate on route 431 Sevenoaks to Orpington. Passengers on the bus will benefit from USB charging points and improved journey comfort. The vehicle has already received acclaim from passengers and drivers alike.”
Chris Hunt, Optare, Regional Sales Manager, said, “I am delighted go-coach has chosen the Optare Metrocity as their first new bus purchase which will compliment perfectly the growing Optare fleet they already operate.”