The decarbonisation of public transport in Northern Ireland has taken a significant leap forward with a new contract for 145 zero and low emission buses.
Representing an investment of around £66 million by the Department for Infrastructure, the programme will include the buses supplied by local firm Wrightbus and the associated infrastructure. This will form a key part of Translink’s Net Zero Emissions Strategy and will be fundamental in creating cleaner and greener transport to positively impact the climate emergency and air quality.
The 100 zero emission buses comprise 80 Battery Electric Vehicles and 20 Hydrogen Fuel Cell Electric Vehicles and will be the most environmentally-friendly buses in Ireland. They will be deployed between Metro in Belfast and Foyle Metro services in Derry. There will also be 45 low emissions buses for Ulsterbus services across Northern Ireland.
Commented Infrastructure Minister Nichola Mallon: said: “This marks a very positive step forward that will create jobs, encourage investment, as well as being pivotal in cutting the level of emissions.
“As well as reducing pollution, the new vehicles will have additional safety features and improved comfort and accessibility, helping to grow passenger numbers, increase overall customer satisfaction and make public transport a more attractive and efficient alternative to private cars.”
Translink Group Chief Executive Chris Conway said: “This bus order is just the start of an exciting new era for public transport in Northern Ireland as we work to build back responsibly following Covid-19. Investment in a new zero emission fleet is great news for everyone, helping tackle the global climate emergency we all face and improving local air quality.”
Wrightbus CEO Buta Atwal said: “Investment in hydrogen, electric and low-emission buses and the wider energy sector, can only be good for jobs in Northern Ireland. We have the climate and the technology to drive fundamental change here and position Northern Ireland as a world-leader. This order of 145 buses is a significant step and we are proud to work alongside Translink to achieve these goals.”
All the new buses are due to be in service during 2021/2022.