First concludes Metrocity trial

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L-R: Robert Drewery, Commercial Director, Optare; Graham Belgum, President, Optare; Mark Munday, Technical Director, First Bus; and Mick Campbell,  System Engineer, First Bus

Positive feedback from the operator after rigorous testing on Halifax services

Optare has announced that its Metrocity 11.5m Euro 6 demonstrator vehicle has completed a successful real-world trial with First Bus.

The trial has seen Optare’s Metrocity put through its paces operating on the high frequency Red Arrow services 521, 522 and 523, from Halifax to Ovenden and Illingworth (north of Halifax).

Mark Munday, Technical Director at First Bus, commented: “First Bus invests in a unique and rigorous approach to testing, evaluating and procuring new vehicles.

“In addition to extensive fuel efficiency and performance testing on the track, we also conduct real-world operation trials, on actual routes throughout the First Bus network. Working with manufacturers in this way means that we can gather robust data to inform the purchase of vehicles that support local authority agendas and positively impact carbon and air quality in town and city centres across the UK, while ensuring that we deliver the best experience for our passengers.

“The trial of the Metrocity builds on the work we started last year with Optare, which included a comprehensive assessment of the Metrodecker. After the success of the Metrodecker trial, we were particularly keen to evaluate the Metrocity and gain passenger and driver feedback.

“It has performed very well and it is great to see more Low Carbon certified buses being made available to benefit the environment.”

Robert Drewery, Commercial Director at Optare, said: “In light of service experience, expectations of the Metrocity’s performance were high, and we were not disappointed.

“The Euro 6 vehicle is Low Carbon certified and met or exceeded competitive benchmarks throughout the assessment. Feedback from drivers and customers has been extremely positive, particularly around the driveability, smooth ride and the comfort of the vehicle.”

The Optare Metrodecker undertook a similarly rigorous in-service programme with First Bus last summer on route X78 from Sheffield to Doncaster. The Metrocity will shortly commence a further in-service assessment with First Hampshire & Dorset.