Optare has handed over its first Metrodecker demonstrator vehicle to Reading Buses for the start of a one-month trial.
The Metrodecker was on display at Coach & Bus Live this year in the outside display area, and had been expected to go on trial with Arriva-owned Yorkshire Tiger, but it is understood a change of personnel meant that this did not go ahead.
Martijn Gilbert, Chief Executive Officer of Reading Buses, commented: “We are thrilled to be working with Optare to bring the Metrodecker into service at Reading Buses.
“We have a number of double-decker routes and we will be putting the new Optare double-decker through its paces. The orange vehicle certainly won’t look out of place amongst our brightly coloured fleet and we are sure that our customers will be as excited about trying out this new vehicle as we are.”
Robert Drewery, Commercial Director of Optare, said: “I am delighted that the Metrodecker is entering service with such a respected and innovative operator.
“We will be monitoring its performance closely and we look forward to the feedback from Reading Buses and its passengers.”
Optare claims that the Metrodecker has already demonstrated highly competitive fuel economy in recent independent fuel trials. It is available in two lengths – the single door version measures in at 11.1m, while the two-door is 10.5m long.
The 10.5m TfL specification vehicle on trial with Reading Buses is set to begin customer trials in early 2016.