Bristol Metrobus favours single-decker hybrids

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The Bristol MetroBus service is likely to use single-decker hybrid vehicles, with two sets of doors in an effort to minimise stop dwell time, The Bristol Post reported.

After research from transport experts, single-decker vehicles emerged as the favourable choice, providing the quickest and bestquality service for passengers, although it is up to the contract winning operator to decide which twin door hybrid vehicles to use.

Bendy buses are unlikely because of their reliance on standing room at peak times, while ‘more modern’ StreetCars are unlikely because they cost about £320,000 each.

Cllr Brian Allinson, Chairman of the West of England Partnership’s Joint Transport Committee, said: “We are determined that the MetroBus vehicle delivers a visibly high level of passenger quality and comfort, but we have to be realistic and balance our wishes with practicality.

“This minimum specification (single-decker hybrid with twin doors) sets a high standard but it should also be affordable and will allow us to work with the chosen operator to get the best for passengers.”

A report before the committee, which met on Wednesday (July 31), explained all the options available and the factors which had to be taken into account before choosing the best type of bus.

A partnership spokesman said: “The MetroBus team has looked at double-deckers and articulated vehicles – which carry more people, so fewer of them are needed – and compared them against single-deck vehicles which are more accessible but need more vehicles to carry the same number of people. Needing more vehicles means a more frequent service but costs more to run. The dwell time is also important. Two sets of doors is faster, but a system has to be in place to make sure people pay – and the plan is that this will mainly be by a Smartcard.”

Three routes are planned for the £200m MetroBus scheme, with the first one running from the parkand- ride site at Long Ashton to Temple Meads.

The second route travels from the northern fringe of the city to Hengrove, and the South Bristol Link will run from the A370 to Cater Road roundabout in Hartcliffe.

The first £51m route should be operational in 2016.