Reading Buses has launched seven new ADL E400 Euro 6 buses for its claret 21 route between the town centre, the university and Lower Earley. The latest investment has helped to reduce the fleet’s average age to under four years.
To mark the investment of £2m in new buses, the company joined the Vice Chancellor for a ribbon cutting ceremony. The new vehicles brought a ringing endorsement from Sir David Bell, Vice Chancellor of the University of Reading.
Sir David commented on the ‘special partnership’ that the University of Reading has established with Reading Buses and the commitment of the company to keep investing in the fleet which has helped to grow passenger numbers to and from the campus, adding “and long may it continue.”
As is now becoming the Reading Buses standard, all the buses have audio/visual next stop announcements, external destination repeaters and free WiFi.
Tony Pettitt, Reading Buses Director of Resources, revealed passenger numbers have risen every year since the partnership began over six years ago – including an overall 10% increase last year and a great start to the new academic year with a 22% increase already this term compared to last year.
He added: “Not only have we invested in new vehicles on the claret routes, but have increased the frequency between campus and the town to every five minutes and have claret buses running 24/7.
“This has seen the night traffic on the route increase by nearly 400% when compared to the old N21 which had one journey Monday to Thursday and three early morning journeys Friday and Saturday.”