Minister Kennedy announces £29 million investment in Translink buses
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Posted: 25 September 2012 | Translink | No comments yet
Transport Minister Danny Kennedy announced a £29 million investment in new Goldline and Metro buses for Northern Ireland….
Transport Minister Danny Kennedy today announced a £29 million investment in new Goldline and Metro buses for Northern Ireland.
The Minister visited the Europa Buscentre in Belfast where he saw a sample of the 87 new Goldline Coaches and 58 Metro buses. The Department for Regional Development has provided funding towards the purchase of these buses.
The vehicle investment is made up of Metro Volvo Wrights Single Deck and Double Deck buses and Scania Irizar Goldline coaches.
Danny Kennedy said: “A number of the Goldline Coaches and Metro buses have already gone into service this month with the remainder to be introduced later this year and in early 2013.
“The Goldline coaches will be delivering enhanced express services on key (longer journey) Goldline routes. When all these coaches are in service this will see the majority of all Goldine Express services operated with modern new vehicles. The new coaches are of a very high standard of comfort and quality with additional leg room.
“To further enhance customer satisfaction, WiFi has also been fitted to a number of coaches in the current fleet giving passengers access to free WiFi on key Goldline routes from 1st October. Translink also plan to offer free WiFi on most Goldline services from early 2013 when all the new coaches are in service.”
The new Metro buses are replacing older vehicles in the fleet to make Metro Services 100% wheelchair accessible and the additional double decker vehicles will also enable Translink to enhance capacity on busy routes.
Re-affirming the Department’s commitment to investment in public transport the Minister said: “From 2004/05 to 2011/12, my Department has assisted Translink to buy over 900 buses at a cost of £135 million. My key objective in investing in public transport is to encourage commuters and other travellers to use public transport for their journeys instead of the private car and to travel more sustainably.
“In overall terms bus investment has achieved a lot – in Northern Ireland, 67 of the 77 million public transport journeys being made last year took place on buses. There has also been good news with the latest passenger charter results showing customer satisfaction levels for Ulsterbus at an all-time high. Also, the programme to implement further bus priority measures continues within my Department to help tackle congestion issues impacting on bus speeds.
Catherine Mason, Group Chief Executive, Translink said:
“This major investment in our bus fleet ensures we continue to provide accessible and attractive bus services for Northern Ireland and we welcome and thank the Minister and his Department for their on-going support.
“Our engineers have worked hard with our suppliers to develop these modern vehicles – in particular, our new high quality Goldline coaches have been bespoke designed to include more spacious legroom. In addition they boast comfortable leather seating and free WiFi making it easy to access emails, social media and web browsing and further enhancing the overall travel experience and comfort for our customers.
“Through strong marketing and promotion of everyday value tickets, such as Smartlink and a programme of innovative offers and tickets such as Smart Saturday deals on Metro and one third off selected Goldline services after 9.30am we look forward to attracting even more customers to take advantage of the convenience, comfort and cost savings available with bus and coach travel.