First electric buses for Manchester arrive

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Vicky Tomlinson, Operations Manager for First, Howard Hartley, Head of Bus for TfGM, and Cllr Mark Aldred, Deputy Chairman of the TfGM Committee
Vicky Tomlinson, Operations Manager for First, Howard Hartley, Head of Bus for TfGM, and Cllr Mark Aldred, Deputy Chairman of the TfGM Committee

Greater Manchester’s first fully electric buses have been delivered to Transport for Greater Manchester (TfGM) for use on the free hop-on hop-off Metroshuttle service

The three new Optare Versas have been jointly funded through the Department for Transport’s Green Bus Fund. They join a 17-strong fleet of hybrid-electric buses which already run on all three Metroshuttle routes.

The Versas were due to enter service this week on the orange Metroshuttle 1 route, which links Piccadilly station with many of the shopping, commercial, leisure and cultural areas of the city centre.

Cllr Mark Aldred, Deputy Chairman of the TfGM Committee, said: “Metroshuttle is the largest free city centre bus service in the UK and carries millions of passengers every year, helping to cut congestion.

“These new electric buses are cheaper to run and quieter than normal buses and give off no harmful emissions – contributing to a better environment for everyone who lives in, works in and visits the city centre.

“The buses are a welcome addition to our fleet of green buses – and just part of Greater Manchester’s hard work to radically slash its carbon emissions by around one million tonnes every year.”

Vicky Tomlinson, Operations Manager for First Manchester, said: “We’re looking forward to welcoming Metroshuttle passengers on board the new electric buses. They are a first for us and our drivers are enjoying taking them out on test runs to get used to the buses before they start running with passengers.”