Saturday, 26 August 2023

First Bus ‘Switch On’ New All-Electric Fleet in York

First Bus together with City of York Council has switched on’ a new fleet of zero emission buses for York in a transformation that will see its depot become one of the first outside London to be fully electric.

The buses herald a new York Electric branding with the first vehicles operating from Sunday 27 August on the Service 4 route from the city centre to Acomb.

Electric buses will then gradually be introduced on to selected corridors in the coming weeks with services 1 and 5 expected to follow soon.

First North  West Yorkshire directors switch on York Electric fleet with Councillor Claire Douglas, Leader of City of York Council (right)

The full order of 53 Wright StreetDeck Electroliner double-deckers and the single-decker GB Kite Electroliner are manufactured by Wrightbus in Northern Ireland with features including audio visual next stop technology, USB charging points and Wi-Fi connectivity. 

The fleet represents a total investment by First Bus of £13m supported with £10.2m funding secured by City of York Council from the Government’s Zebra scheme.

Each bus will save up to 60 tonnes of carbon emissions a year, meaning an anticipated annual reduction of more than 3,000 tonnes of CO2 when the full fleet is in operation.

Andrew Cullen, Managing Director of First Bus in North & West Yorkshire, said: “An even greener transport revolution beckons in York and we are leading this change.

“We’re proud to unveil these latest zero emission buses and are confident they will appeal to our customers and attract more people to consider bus travel by realising the real impact this has in reducing congestion, creating cleaner air and supporting the York economy.”

He added: “It is real evidence of our continuing successful partnership with City of York Council in bringing major improvements to bus services and supporting a shared ambition for a net-zero transport system and reducing carbon emissions in the city.”

The buses can carry around 90 passengers and have a range of up to 200 miles on full charge.

Councillor Claire Douglas, Leader of City of York Council, said: “Bringing this new technology to York is an exciting, important step towards a healthier city and reaching our key goal of being net zero by 2030. 
As the York fleet gradually becomes fully electric, I hope it will attract more and more people to using buses as we deliver a vision for cleaner, more efficient ways of getting around our city.

“I’d like to thank everyone involved in helping York lead the way by delivering this electric fleet and combined with investments and improvements via York’s Bus Service Improvement Plan, showing our commitment to providing more frequent and affordable bus networks.”

As part of the overall investment, the First Bus depot is currently being transformed with the installation of power charging and infrastructure to handle the full zero emission fleet, which will total 86 buses.