Stagecoach Manchester has launched its brand new fleet of electric double decker buses, the first in Greater Manchester.
The new fleet of 32 zero emissions vehicles will serve the 111 and 43 routes connecting Manchester City Centre and Manchester Airport as well as five hospitals and three universities.
These zero emission buses can travel 190 miles on a single charge and will help to ease pollution on some of Europe’s busiest roads.
A double decker bus can already take more than 70 cars off the road and the new e-buses will save 2208 tonnes of carbon a year compared to the existing fleet, as well as improving local air quality.
Stagecoach is already the UK’s biggest investor in hybrid-electric bus technology and has invested more than £1billion in new greener buses over the past decade. By the end of 2020, Stagecoach will be operating more electric buses than any other UK bus operator.
Elisabeth Tasker, managing director of Stagecoach Manchester, said:
“The introduction of the new electric double-decker buses is a significant milestone in the history of transport in Greater Manchester and represents one of the biggest single investments in electric buses anywhere in Europe.
“We are very proud to have worked in partnership with the Mayor, Andy Burnham, Transport for Greater Manchester and other key organisations to secure the investment needed to roll out the first electric double decker buses for this region.
“This significant investment will deliver major benefits for our customers, the region and other road users in delivering greener transport on some of Manchester’s busiest roads.
“This new fleet of electric buses is the latest example of what can be achieved by working together. We will continue to build on the major progress we’ve already made with more customer improvements such as next stop announcements, on board Wi-Fi, contactless ticketing and live journey information.”
A multi-million-pound investment has also been made to develop infrastructure and power requirements at depot level, with intelligent chargers used to limit loadings on the electricity supply and maximise vehicle availability.
Transforming the air quality in Greater Manchester is one part of a £142m 10-year partnership plan developed by Stagecoach to deliver a step-change in the region’s bus network and seamlessly connect South and North Manchester.
Working with the Mayor and local authorities, it would deliver more comprehensive services, better value fares, simpler ticketing, an improved customer experience and a profit share which would see revenue made from Stagecoach services reinvested across the region’s full transport network.
Importantly, this would also address issues around damaging car congestion which impacts bus punctuality while local taxpayers would benefit from up to £25m in savings as Stagecoach and potentially other bus operators would operate uneconomic, socially-necessary, bus routes without subsidy.