The first of 80 new highly advanced double decker buses for Dublin’s bus services through the Government’s capital programme have been unveiled in Dublin by the Minister for Transport, Tourism & Sport Leo Varadkar. 80 GT Model buses manufactured by The Wrights Group, Ballymena, Co. Antrim and powered by Volvo (UK) Euro 5 Engines and low floor wheelchair accessible chassis.
A total of 80 new buses are being funded by the National Transport Authority as replacement vehicles for Dublin Bus under its public service obligation contract. The new buses represent an investment of €26 million in the Dublin Bus fleet replacement programme. These 80 new buses will operate on Dublin routes 1, 4, 7, 29a, 33, 102, 104 and 151.
All vehicles are low floor wheelchair accessible and will ensure that Dublin Bus will have a 100% accessible fleet by the end of 2012. The buses also feature bilingual passenger information signs in the upper and lower saloons announcing the next bus stop, centre doors to improve efficiency at bus stops for boarding and alighting and free Wi-Fi.
They also offer improved safety features with additional CCTV (one at the centre door and on the exterior of the bus). Two monitors are fitted in the driver’s cab – one to view the upper saloon and one to view the centre door area. An interior screen is also fitted on the staircase which continuously shows alternating views from each camera allowing passengers to view the clear images from these 10 cameras.
Another important safety feature is the five emergency “break glass” exits – 3 in the upper saloon (including at the rear window) and two on the offside of the lower saloon. Exterior lighting will now include ‘Daytime Running Lights’ and ‘Marker lights’.
There is individual seating for 68 passengers and standing space for 11 further passengers in the lower saloon and a dedicated space for wheelchair users, clearer marking of wheelchair spaces, and better luggage storage. All these vehicles are certified to European whole Vehicle Type Approval standard.
Signage has also been installed at the front seats requesting that these seats be given up for people who are disabled, older, pregnant or have difficulty standing. These new features and signage were designed in conjunction with disability groups.
These new replacement vehicles are the most environmentally friendly to date. They meet “Euro 5” emission standards (current vehicles are Euro 4). And each vehicle is also fitted with electric fans which also helps to improve fuel consumption and decrease noise levels. – ensuring the whole community will benefit from their arrival.