Published on Thursday 11th October 2012

Minister Varadkar Launches 80 new high-tech double decker buses for Dublin

Minister Leo Varadkar TD announces public transport investment of €26M

Minister for Transport, Tourism & Sport Leo Varadkar today (October 11th, 2012) unveiled the first of 80 new highly advanced double decker buses for Dublin’s bus services through the Government’s capital programme. A total of 80 new buses are being funded by the National Transport Authority as replacement vehicles for Dublin Bus under its public service obligation contract. The new buses represent an investment of €26 million in the Dublin Bus fleet replacement programme.

All vehicles are low floor wheelchair accessible and will ensure that Dublin Bus will have a 100% accessible fleet by the end of 2012. The buses also feature:

· bilingual passenger information signs in the upper and lower saloons announcing the next bus stop,
· centre doors to improve efficiency at bus stops for boarding and alighting,
· free Wi-Fi,
· improved safety features with additional CCTV,
· individual seating for 68 passengers and standing space for 11 further passengers in the lower saloon and a dedicated space for wheelchair users,
· clearer marking of wheelchair spaces, and
· better luggage storage.

Minister Varadkar said: “I’m very pleased to announce this major Government investment in Dublin’s public transport network. These replacement vehicles are a good example of how this Government is determined to make the best use of the limited resources available, by investing wisely in public transport. When combined with other Government investments like integrated ticketing, providing more bus shelters, real time passenger information, and the National Journey Planner, we hope these 80 replacement buses will encourage more people to switch from cars to public transport. I encourage anyone who hasn’t used public transport for a while to see for themselves how the new improvements are making a difference.”

These new replacement vehicles are the most environmentally friendly to date. They meet “Euro 5” emission standards, consume less fuel and are quieter – ensuring the whole community will benefit from their arrival.

The new buses will operate on routes 1, 4, 7, 29a, 33, 102, 104 and 151 and are another significant development in the provision of convenient and comfortable public transport.

Other recent public transport developments such as the National Journey Planner, Real Time Passenger Information signs, mobile apps, more bus shelters, and the Leap Card are also making public transport a more attractive option for Dubliners and visitors to the city.

Ends.

Please also see fact sheet below

For more information:
Simon Conry, Head of Corporate and Public Affairs, National Transport Authority: 087 918 2176
Clíodhna Ní Fhátharta, Media and Communications Manager, Dublin Bus: 087 667 7019
Nick Miller, Press Adviser, Minister Varadkar’s office: 086 699 2080
Tim Kinsella, MKC Communications: 086 813 7512

Launch of New Buses – 2012

· 80 GT Model buses manufactured by The Wrights Group, Ballymena, Co. Antrim and powered by Volvo (UK) Euro 5 Engine and low floor wheelchair accessible chassis.

· The routes chosen for the new buses and the order in which they will enter service is as follows: 7, 151, 4, 102, 33, 29a, 104, 1

· These buses are part of a continuing fleet replacement programme for buses in Dublin.

· Delivery of the vehicles began last month on Route 7 and all 80 vehicles will be delivered by the end of the year.

· Vehicles are certified to European whole Vehicle Type Approval standard.

· Each vehicle is fitted with bilingual passenger information signs in both the upper and lower saloons which display the next stop along the route.

Wi-Fi

· All buses are equipped with Wi-Fi technology and Wi-Fi will be available to customers on each of these vehicles free of charge offering additional value for customers.

Improved Accessibility Features

· All vehicles are fully low floor wheelchair accessible and this will make the Dublin Bus fleet 100% accessible by the end of 2012.

· The wheelchair space is clearly identified with a new logo and signage to make clear that wheelchair users do have priority to use this space.

· Signage has also been installed at the front seats requesting that these seats be given up for people who are disabled, older, pregnant or have difficulty standing.

· These new features and signage were designed in conjunction with disability groups.

Environmentally Friendly Vehicles

· The engine in each of the new buses is compliant with Euro 5 emission standards (current vehicles are Euro 4) thus reducing the negative impact of fuel emissions on the environment.

· Each vehicle is also fitted with electric fans which improve fuel consumption and decrease noise levels.

Improved Safety Features

· Each bus is fitted with 10 CCTV cameras which are in keeping with the most modern digital CCTV technology available including an on board digital recording system ensuring Dublin Bus continues to provide the community with a safe and reliable public transport service.

· There are two additional cameras on these vehicles – one at the centre door and on the exterior of the bus.

· Two monitors are fitted in the driver’s cab – one to view the upper saloon and one to view the centre door area.

· An interior screen is also fitted on the staircase which continuously shows alternating views from each camera allowing passengers to view the clear images from these 10 cameras.

· Following improvements in safety features including CCTV monitors, improved door operation and better bus stop infrastructure, these vehicles are fitted with a centre door for exiting the bus.

· The centre doors open outwards. There are also no steps down to the doors on the inside of the vehicles which is another improved safety feature of these doors.

· Using the centre door for exiting the bus also contributes to faster boarding times.

Other features include:

· Five emergency “break glass” exits – 3 in the upper saloon (including at the rear window) and two on the offside of the lower saloon.

· Each bus has been fitted with individual seating.

· Exterior lighting will now include Daytime Running Lights and Marker lights.

· Luggage pen has a new improved flat design for storing passenger luggage.

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