Optare delivers to Tranzit Group

Optare has marked the delivery of the first batch of 114 Metrocitys for New Zealand.

To mark the occasion, the manufacturer held a special ceremony at the British High Commission in the country’s capital, Wellington. Acting British High Commissioner, Helen Smith, cut the ribbon on the first bus of Optare’s biggest ever Australasian export order, worth NZ$40m (£21m). Bus & Coach Buyer visited Optare’s factory while the vehicles were in production (see B&CB 1474, 7 April 2018).

The buses are being supplied to Tranzit Group, one of New Zealand’s largest public transport operators. The first 12 of them will begin operation around Greater Wellington Regional Council routes in Wellington and the surrounding region in the next few weeks. The Metrocity buses for Tranzit feature Euro VI engines, a monocoque design and have a passenger capacity of up to 55. It will be the lightest bus with this capacity to operate in New Zealand.

President of Optare, Graham Belgum, said: “This is a significant step for Optare in our international export strategy and signals the start of the exciting growth opportunities available to us in Australasia. Furthermore, it recognises our continued innovation in lightweight design, delivering significant annual savings in fuel consumption and operating costs.”

Managing Director of Tranzit Group, Paul Snelgrove, said, “The Metrocity buses were purpose-built to meet the demands of the Wellington region’s commuter network. They’re top-of-the-line and exactly what we need to give the region’s commuters the very best service possible. As well as being Euro VI certified, which is the highest possible and newest global emissions standard, the Metrocity buses weigh 900kg less than comparable vehicles, use much less fuel and can carry more passengers. We’ve ordered a combination of 10.1m and 10.8m Metrocity buses, which means we’ll have the right buses available to best service the mix of the city, suburban and semi-rural routes we’ll be operating. The shorter buses are much easier to manoeuvre and are ideal for tight, twisty routes.”

Jason Pecotic, General Manager of Bus Corp Oceania, Optare’s dealer and partners in Australia and New Zealand, said: “We are delighted to be providing warranty and full aftermarket support for the vehicles and are working closely with Optare to expand the product reach to operators in New Zealand and Australia. Bus Corp Oceania is a strong and well-resourced distributor and is very much focused on ensuring that the Optare message is heard across the region. This is the message of an advanced monocoque design which delivers integrity and strength but minimises weight resulting in better fuel consumption and lower emissions. We are already seeing people sit up and take notice of Optare and this new fleet of Optare buses for Tranzit is just the beginning of resurgence of the brand down under.”

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