Belfast public to be introduced to Glider before September 2018 launch

Posted: 18 December 2017 | | No comments yet

The new rapid transit ‘Glider’ vehicle is set to be the iconic new face of public transport in Belfast, reducing congestion and pollution in the city…

The new Rapid Transit ‘Glider’ vehicle is set to be the iconic new face of public transport in Belfast

The first of Belfast’s new Glider vehicles has arrived and are set to be put on public display, ahead of their introduction to service in September 2018. The Glider service represents an investment of over £90 million from the Department for Infrastructure and is set to be the iconic new face of public transport in Belfast.

The new Eco Hybrid Glider vehicles will help improve air quality, reduce pollution and mark the beginning of sustainable public transport in Belfast. The vehicles will also boast a host of modern features like Wi-Fi and USB charging facilities. 

Ahead of the preview at Custom House Square, Lord Mayor of Belfast, Councillor Nuala McAllister, said: “Belfast needs a transport system that is befitting a global city and I believe the new Glider service will help to deliver that for Belfast and its residents, workers and visitors.

“The Glider service will encourage more people to opt for public transport which in turn helps to ease congestion and improve air quality; a win-win situation for business, the economy, the environment and public health.”

Over the next eight months, infrastructure enhancements will be completed and each new vehicle will undergo intensive testing and commissioning before entering passenger service. A training programme for both operational and engineering staff will be organised and a series of roadshows are planned to showcase the new vehicles across the city. These roadshows will demonstrate to the public how to use the new service and new ticketing systems to ensure the smooth introduction of Glider.

Chris Conway, Translink Group Chief Executive, said: “Glider will transform public transport in Belfast. Helping to energise our city, the service will enable easy and convenient travel for more people to more places.  Our customers can expect a modern, high-capacity and high-frequency rapid transit service which integrates with our existing networks. This preview is another key milestone in this exciting project and we look forward to getting first impressions from our passengers and the wider public.”

When introduced in 2018, Glider services will operate every 7-8 minutes throughout the working day linking East Belfast, West Belfast and Titanic Quarter via the city centre. The 18m articulated Glider vehicles will use the latest diesel-electric hybrid engine technology delivering a smoother take off from halts, lower noise, reduced vibration and lower emissions.