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Saturday, 11 July 2015

Reading Buses to trial the New Routemaster

Just another New Routemaster article...
Reading Buses is to trial two New Routemaster buses for their purple route 17 which goes from Tilehurst to Earley.
Local newspaper 'Get Reading' reports:
One of Reading's purple buses will be replaced with a London bus as part of a two-week trial.

The new Routemaster, which is iconic of London travel, will be in service along the 17 route from Tilehurst to Earley in August.
The Reading Buses summer bus trial is designed to look at new and different types of buses which will shape the company's future vehicle purchasing as well as deciding on interior gadgets and decor.
As a key part of the summer bus trials, Reading Buses will be looking to their customers and staff to help format their future thinking on which buses are best.
First to impress will be Mercedes which will bring two different lengths of its Citaro bus running on the Loddon Bridge park and ride route. This will be followed by the ‘super fuel efficient’ Optare Metrocity which will split its time between the park and ride and the company’s Newbury depot.
Then comes the New Routemaster which Martijn Gilbert, Reading Buses' chief executive, describes as ‘arguably the most exciting’ of the trial buses.
"It is with special thanks to Transport for London and the manufacturer Wrightbus that we will see this vehicle running around Reading on our purple 17 route in August," said Mr Gilbert.
"After proving to be a massive draw at our recent Open Day, the stylish New Routemaster, with its three doors for speed of entry and exit, will now operate as a special ‘extra’ bus to supplement the daytime service on purple route 17."
Further trial buses will include the Wrightbus Streetdeck with its extreme modern styling, including a glass staircase and ceiling panels.
Mr Gilbert said: "We will also be trialling an innovative new hybrid electric re-powering system from a company called Vantage and this offers up to 4km of running in silent zero emissions mode.
"Our customers deserve – and of course demand – more. Over recent years we have seen numerous customer innovations on board public transport and vehicle technologies have also continued to improve.
"It is important that in Reading and surrounding area we continue to meet the growing customer, economic and environmental needs of the community.
"This exciting summer of bus trials will allow us to choose the very best customer features, combined with optimal vehicle performance to continue to offer our customers and stakeholders a class leading public transport system."
During the trial period, Reading Buses customers will have the chance to let the company know what they think by emailing feedback@reading-buses.co.uk – with all the comments helping to shape future thinking.
I don’t really know much about this, so you might need to look at Reading Buses website for more information. It’s interesting that they are trialling the Wrightbus Streetdeck because of the glass staircase design which is based on the New Routemaster design.
It must be noted that Reading Buses are not the first council-owned bus operator to have taken an interest in New Routemasters. Back in November 2013, Ipswich Buses, a council owned bus operator showed interest in the New Routemaster bus as they trialled it on their free shuttle service route 38 which went from Endeavour House to Ipswich town centre.
You can see Ipswich Buses press release on the New Routemaster here.
TFL’s estimated £286 million New Routemaster project will seek to see a fleet of 800 of the vehicles by 2016. Four routes have already been announced for conversion to New Routemaster operation.
Route
Operator
Date
91
Metroline
6th February 2016
149
Arriva
17th October 2016
159
Abellio
12th December 2015
168
Metroline
26th September 2015

If you would like to know more about the New Routemaster then follow the links to my previous articles below.
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Image attribution
"Stagecoach East London bus LT412 (LTZ 1412), 2015 Reading Buses Open Day (1)" by Aubrey Morandarte from Guildford or Coventry, England - Hated Inside London, Liked Outside It.. Licensed under CC BY 2.0 via Wikimedia Commons - https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Stagecoach_East_London_bus_LT412_(LTZ_1412),_2015_Reading_Buses_Open_Day_(1).jpg#/media/File:Stagecoach_East_London_bus_LT412_(LTZ_1412),_2015_Reading_Buses_Open_Day_(1).jpg

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