Irish Transport Minister, Michelle McIlveen, has announced the award of a £19m contract to supply a fleet of 30 Van Hools vehicles for the new Belfast Rapid Transit (BRT) system. The Belgian based manufacturer will be supported locally by Road Trucks Limited of Larne. Van Hool Exqui.Citys have been selected for the BRT, which will be built over the next two and a half years. Using hybrid technology, they will have a capacity of around 100 people and will have three sets of double doors, air conditioning, high quality materials for passenger comfort, CCTV and onboard passenger information screens, audio announcements and Wi-Fi. The 18m articulated buses are scheduled to come into service on the new bus infrastructure network in September 2018. The BRT system will be operated by Translink when it begins services in September 2018.
The Director of Design and Development of Van Hool, Jan Van Hool, said, ‘There is a rapidly growing demand for tram-like buses, such as the Exqui.City, in major European cities. We are very pleased to have secured this important contract for the supply of the rapid transit vehicles for Belfast. The contract is very significant for both Van Hool and our local long-term partner, Road Trucks Limited.’