Formula 1 technology to drive new buses at First Aberdeen
Posted: 21 July 2014 | First Aberdeen | No comments yet
Local bus operator, First Aberdeen, said that passengers are set to benefit from brand new, state of the art buses from August which feature unique Formula 1 technology…
Local bus operator, First Aberdeen, said today that passengers are set to benefit from brand new, state of the art buses from August which feature unique Formula 1 technology.
First has invested around £4.3m in 26 Micro-Hybrid Streetlite vehicles, one of the world’s most fuel efficient buses which come equipped with leather seats, free wifi for customers and extra room for wheelchairs and passengers with buggies.
Each new vehicle is fitted with the latest energy saving technology including a braking power system similar to that used on Formula 1 racing cars, which re-uses energy to power other parts of the bus. The Micro-Hybrid buses are also lighter than a conventional single deck bus and, together with advanced engine technology, are around 30% more fuel efficient.
First Aberdeen said the new vehicles will enter service next month (August) and details of which routes they’ll operate on remain a closely guarded secret for the time being.
“Our £4.3m investment in 26 new vehicles is great news for our customers,” said Managing Director of First Aberdeen, Duncan Cameron.
“Over the last 18-24 months we’ve set about making bus travel more attractive to encourage more people to use our services. Our strategy is working with more than 1,000 extra people a day travelling with First Aberdeen. However, we are committed to continuing to invest and improve bus services, and therefore I’m delighted that passengers will benefit from next month with the arrival of these state of the art new buses.”
He continued: “I’m pleased too that our fantastic team will have the opportunity to work with these new vehicles. Micro-Hybrids are one of the most fuel efficient buses in the world and we will be one of the first companies to take delivery of them. Our drivers and engineering staff can’t wait to get them on the road.”
All First Aberdeen’s new buses are manufactured by Wrightbus. They will be fitted with EURO V engines and will feature wi-fi and leather seats as standard. First’s £4.3m 2014 investment in 26 new vehicles follows the introduction of 23 brand new vehicles worth £3.5m in 2013.
The new vehicles are the latest in a range of initiatives and investments that First Aberdeen has put in place to improve bus travel for its customers, all of which have contributed to a growth in passengers of 2% across the network:
- In March 2014, First Aberdeen launched M-Ticketing which enables customers to buy tickets via an app and use their mobile phone as bus tickets.
- In November 2013, First revealed its customer focused Service 19 Platinum Service, which has since been crowned Scotland’s Best Bus Service at the 2014 Scottish Transport Awards. With an extra 1500 customers a week using the service, First Aberdeen turned another route Platinum in July 2014 – Service 12
- First invested £3.5million in 23 brand new buses in 2013. The new vehicles, which are fitted with leather seats and complementary wi-fi, entered service on July 1.
- First Aberdeen’s punctuality and reliability performance has never been better with 95% of all services leaving on time.
- In its most recent fares review (March 2014) First, for the second year running, held in price or reduced the majority of its fares.
- The company has run a number of fares promotions on various routes within its network in 2013 and in October 2013 permanently reduced its Family Weekend Day ticket by 25%.
- The company is undertaking a fleet refresh programme which is improving the exterior of all its buses and the interiors of many of its buses. First’s Park and Ride fleet have been rebranded and refreshed.
- First launched a network wide ‘Customer Promise’ whereby passengers can claim a free travel voucher if they are unhappy with any aspect of the service (within First’s control).
- First Aberdeen has secured the services of eight regular customers to form a Customer Panel to provide mystery shopper evaluations on its bus services.
- In December 2013, following an independent customer satisfaction survey, First revealed that 87% of customers are either ‘quite satisfied’ or ‘very satisfied’ with First’s services, a record for the company.