Reading to trial New Routemaster
Reading Buses is to carry out a two week trial of the New Routemaster from 17 August. It will be in service on the flagship purple 17 route with a dedicated crew including a conductor. It forms part of the company’s summer bus trials, which are designed to look at new and different types of buses in order to shape its future vehicle purchasing as well as deciding interior specification.
Other buses to be trialled in the summer include two different lengths of the Mercedes-Benz Citaro, which will run on the Loddon Bridge park and ride route. This will be followed by the Optare Metrocity, which will split its time between the park and ride and the company’s Newbury depot. Further trial buses will include the Wrightbus Streetdeck, as well as a new hybrid electric re-powering system from Vantage. This offers up to 4km of running in silent zero emissions mode.
Reading Buses CEO, Martijn Gilbert, said, ‘It is with special thanks to TfL and the manufacturer Wrightbus that we will see this vehicle running around Reading on our purple 17 route in August. 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. 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.’