An 11.7m Optare Versa that has just joined the fleet of New Zealand operator, Reesby Buses, is expected to generate significant savings. Owner Dave Reesby said, ‘With a gross weight of only 12 tonnes for a 44 seater city bus, compared with around 14 tonnes for all other makes operating in the country, the 11.7m Versa attracts a saving of 13 cents per km in Government imposed road user charges.’
Reesby’s Versa is fitted with a six-cylinder 6.7 litre Cummins ISBe 201bhp Euro5 engine matched to an Allison five-speed automatic transmission with lock-up convertor. It also has 44 Esteban Civic V3 seats, including three tip-ups in the wheelchair/buggy space. A further 17 standing passengers can also be carried. Mobitec LED destination equipment has been specified.
Dave Reesby said, ‘We’re currently evaluating the performance and operating costs of the Versa by using it on transfers of conference delegates in and around Rotorua on New Zealand’s North Island, which is a major conference centre and also the location of our main base. Shortly it will be going on to a rural service between Katikati and Tauranga in the Bay of Plenty involving a one way trip of 60km, which it will make six times a day, so the 13 cents per km savings will soon add up! It will replace a 10.4m Versa on the route. The Versas, of which we already have two, have had great acceptance from the public leading to increased passenger numbers and a need for more capacity.’
Optare supplied the bus.