Three Eclipse Gemini 2-bodied Volvo B5RLH Hybrids have entered service at bakerbus on its premier X1 route between Hanley, Stoke-on-Trent and Staffordshire Beaconside.
Purchased with the help of the Department of Transport’s Green Bus Fund, each of the vehicles is equipped with WiFi, allowing customers to use mobile devices such as smart phones and tablets to connect to the Internet during their journey.
The X1 is a popular route for students as well as well as the public as it provides local connections between the universities and mainline railway stations serving Stoke and Stone.
The decision to use double deckers was taken following a detailed appraisal of the X1 route, its current demand profile and potential growth. The X1 route was started in 2004 at the request of Staffordshire University and, over time, this has developed into a partnership including London Midland Trains as a rail replacement service.
Initially, the service operated with midi buses, however since 2009 increasing demand necessitated the use of larger single deck vehicles and these were running to their maximum capacity at peak times.
Phil Baker, bakerbus MD said. “More people are turning to buses for local journeys and we have seen significant growth on the X1 route. By providing additional seating capacity, these new buses allow more flexibility without increasing congestion.”
bakerbus runs buses throughout Stoke-on-Trent, North Staffordshire, Cheshire and Stockport. For more information about the company, which is part of The Bakers Group, visit www.bakerbus.com