Transdev orders more eCitaros for West Yorkshire route

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Transdev driver Brandon Hopper with a Mercedes-Benz eCitaro bus which completed trials with the operator in August 2021. TRANSDEV

Transdev has confirmed it has placed an order worth £7.5 million for 15 new electric buses to convert one of its most popular routes, the ‘Shuttle’ linking Keighley and Bradford in West Yorkshire, to zero-emission operation.

The orders are supported by £3.1 million of funding from the Government’s Zero Emission Bus Regional Areas (ZEBRA) fund, following a successful bid by Transdev’s partner West Yorkshire Combined Authority.

The operator has placed an order for 15 Mercedes-Benz eCitaro electric single-deck buses, which follows a separate order for 20 similar vehicles for use in the Leeds, Wetherby and Harrogate areas.

The order follows trials of several types of electric buses on the high-frequency Shuttle route, which operates up to every 15 minutes, as well as on the company’s busy North Yorkshire route 1 linking Harrogate and Knaresborough.

As part of its vehicle trials, Transdev invited its customers to rate key design features on each bus tested, with feedback incorporated into the specifications of the new buses now on order.

Transdev Managing Director Henri Rohard said: “We’re delighted to announce this significant order for 15 new electric buses which will deliver the best experience for our customers as well as helping to clear the air in West Yorkshire.The project has been made possible thanks to the significant support from the Government’s ZEBRA fund, in addition to our introduction of 39 new electric buses in and around Harrogate.

“Transdev is also directly investing £4.4 million in these new buses for our Shuttle route between Bradford and Keighley, representing almost 60% of their total cost. The new buses are expected to be in service by the end of next year. The higher power output delivered by today’s new generation batteries means each bus can go further between charge-ups, while helping us to provide our customers with the reliable and punctual service they rightly expect from us.”

The order was welcomed by the West Yorkshire Combined Authority (WYCA), which submitted a successful bid to Government for £24 million to support West Yorkshire’s three major bus operators, including Transdev, with the introduction of zero-emission buses. Chair of the WYCA Transport Committee Cllr Susan Hinchcliffe said: “Bus travel is vital for people across West Yorkshire, but so is the need to safeguard our environment for future generations. Schemes like this will ultimately form part of a modern, greener public transport network, fit for the 21st century, and help encourage more people onto the bus. It will also help us tackle the climate emergency and achieve our target of becoming a carbon net-zero region by 2038.”