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Friday, 9 October 2015

New London Bus Tender awards and the ZeEUS Project



LOTS (London Omnibus Traction Society) has reported on the new London Bus tender awards.

The following TfL contracts have been announced:


Tranche 513
·         62 re-awarded to Stagecoach East London with new Euro VI diesel double deck (currently single deck), PVR 16
·         294 re-awarded to Stagecoach East London with new Euro VI diesel double deck, PVR 12
·         366 re-awarded to Stagecoach East London with existing Euro V single deck, PVR 18
·         368 awarded to Arriva London North (currently Blue Triangle) with existing fleet Euro V double deck (currently single deck). PVR 10
·         687 awarded to Docklands Buses (currently Stagecoach East London) with existing fleet Euro V diesel double deck. PVR 1
Start date for all above awards is 30 April 2016

Tranche 516
·         69 (24 hour) awarded to Tower Transit (currently Stagecoach East London) with existing Euro V diesel double deck and 3 ZeEUS vehicles. PVR 18. Start date 30 April 2016
·         147 awarded to Docklands Buses (currently Stagecoach East London) with existing fleet Euro V diesel double deck, PVR 21.
Start date 7 May 2016

Tranche 520                                                               
·         86/N86 re-awarded to Stagecoach East London with existing Euro V diesel double deck, PVR 32.
Start date 16 July 2016

Tranche 522
·         25 (24 hour) re-awarded to Tower Transit with existing Euro V diesel double deck, PVR 64. Start date 25 June 2016
·         26/N26 awarded to CT Plus with new battery hybrid double deck, PVR 18.
Start date 25 June 2016

So London Buses route's 62 and 294 will get new Euro VI diesel double deck buses whilst most of the remaining new contracts will use Euro V diesel buses.

With route 25, the contract is retained by Tower Transit with a PVR (Peak Vehicle Requirement) of 64 Euro V diesel buses, which has the largest bus usage for one route and a length of 11 miles (18 Km). But hopefully when Crossrail launches, the Peak Vehicle Requirement for the route will reduce. This route used to be served with bendy buses (Mercedes-Benz Citaro Artics) from Mid 2004 to Mid 2011. There are rumours flying about that Route 25 is to convert to New Routemaster buses.

Some good news is that Route 26 has been awarded to CT Plus with new hybrid double deck buses and route 69 will get ZeEUS buses which means Zero Emission Urban Bus System. But the problem is 3 zero emission buses are not enough to beat diesel emissions.

Lets see more on the ZeEUS project - from the front page of their website it says:

ZeEUS, the Zero Emission Urban Bus System, aims to be the main EU activity to extend the fully-electric solution to the core part of the urban bus network. It fits within the context of the European Commissions objective to create a competitive and sustainable transport system.

To achieve its mission, ZeEUS is testing innovative electric bus technologies with different charging infrastructure solutions in ten demonstration sites across Europe. Thanks to varied geographical and topographical characteristics, the ZeEUS demonstrations validate economic, environmental and societal viability of the electric solutions.

The ZeEUS consortium represent the entire stakeholder spectrum: public transport authorities and operators, bus manufacturers, industry suppliers, energy providers, national and international associations, research centres and consultancies.

Moreover, the ZeEUS project closely follows the development of electric bus systems all around the world through the ZeEUS Observatory. Selected Observed and Monitored Demonstrations directly contribute to some of the ZeEUS core activities and strategic outputs.

 Also, on the about page of their website it says:

Testing electrification solutions at the heart of the urban bus system network through live demonstrations and facilitating the market uptake of electric buses in Europe. ZeEUS, the Zero Emission Urban Bus System, aims to be the flagship EU project to extend the fully-electric solution to the core part of the urban bus network. It follows on recommendations from fellow UITP European bus system projects [EBSF and 3iBS] to apply the electric solution to urban bus systems.

The project fits within the context of the European Commissions objective to create a competitive and sustainable transport system by deploying alternative fuels to reduce transport emissions and improve air quality and noise levels in urban areas. To achieve its mission, ZeEUS will test a wide range of different innovative electric bus technologies and charging infrastructure solutions in eight demonstration sites across 6 European countries with varying operational conditions to validate their economic, environmental and social viability.

Very interesting to see that TFL have aligned with the EU project to get involved more with the zero emission buses scheme. The ZeEUS budget is 22.5m of which 13.5M is funded from the EU.

The participating countries are:

London in England
Stockholm in Sweden
Randstad in the Netherlands
MΓΌnster & Bonn in Germany
Plzen in the Czech Republic
Warsaw in Poland
Paris in France
Barcelona in Spain
Cagliari in the Island of Sardinia, which is part of Italy

Hopefully in the near future we will see an increased fleet of zero emission buses operating in London. The conversion of Red Arrow routes 507& 521 to electric buses commences on 27th August 2016, which is a long way off.

The New Routemaster project led to having OPO (One Person Operation) because their key feature of the convertible open platform does not meet International Regulations, which has caused a challenge from the EC that BBC News reported back in early 2011. Instead newer routes such as route 16 and 149 have Wrightbus New Routemasters with modified rear doors. I have done a short video which you can see here.

The estimated cost of the New Routemaster project (from my previous article) is £302.5 million and in my view it could have been used to spend more on light rail projects which they scrapped back in late 2008, and on increasing more zero emission bus fleet's. I would prefer the legacy of the New Routemaster design to move on, like how Alexander Dennis designed the Enviro400H City which has the same features such as the glazed staircase and the interior design.

I'd like to state here that I do not oppose diesel buses or the New Routemaster project. The purpose of these articles it is to highlight the problems arising from certain issues. I am a fan of the New Routemaster bus and various diesel buses like the Alexander Dennis ALX400 Trident.

My view is that all new bus tender contracts should have buses which are zero emission or low emission (hybrid electric with Euro VI Engines) in order to combat pollution and climate change. Also, London is very lucky that their bus services havent been deregulated, which has happened to the rest of Britain. If it was going to happen we would be seeing a completely different atmosphere for the transport system in London.

As usual, share this article to help raise awareness and follow me on Twitter, Tumblr, Pinterest and Google Plus which is @CLondoner92

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