Isle of Man Transport has put into service two Wrightbus StreetLite Max buses as part of an overall order for six StreetLite single decks.
The operator placed the very first customer order for the StreetLite range when it was launched in 2010, taking a total of 12 vehicles – six 9.5m ‘Wheel Forward’ (WF) and six 10.8m ‘Door Forward’ (DF) models. During three years of successful operation, the shorter length vehicles have been running on rural routes around the island, with the longer vehicles serving local routes in and around Douglas, the capital of the Isle of Man.
Ian Longworth, Director of Public Transport at Isle of Man Transport, said: “I first saw a prototype StreetLite about a year before its launch and was very enthusiastic about the vehicle’s potential – that’s why we were prepared to take a leap of faith and order the initial batch of 12 vehicles off the drawing board. Three years on, the buses have more than lived up to expectations in terms of passenger appeal, driver comfort and operational reliability and economy. “Since we first introduced the StreetLite onto the island, we have seen a significant increase in passenger numbers. We have therefore exchanged our current 9.5m vehicles for an additional four 10.8m and two 11.5m StreetLite Max models.”
The 10.8m DF version of StreetLite with a seating capacity of 41 gives an extra four seats as compared to the shorter, 9.5m WF version, while the 11.5m StreetLite Max has 45 seats and an overall capacity of 70 passengers.
All six new vehicles are Euro 5 models powered by the Cummins iSBe 185PS engine. One of the two new 11.5m StreetLite Max buses features Micro Hybrid technology to capture and utilise energy from the braking system to power pneumatic, hydraulic and electrical systems.
“Having the ability to run two Euro 5 StreetLite Max vehicles – one with and one without the Micro Hybrid system – side by side will give us an excellent opportunity to evaluate the benefits and potential payback of this technology,” said Ian Longworth.