The new buses, which feature Wrightbus Eclipse Urban 2 bodywork, are part of a significant investment to upgrade the Fastway service, which was first launched 11 years ago.
Go-Ahead Group Engineering Director, Phil Margrave explained: “Having spoken to Volvo Bus over an extended period of time, we were impressed by the fuel economy saving that is promised by these new B7RLE single deck buses.
“In addition, it is now some time since the Fastway service was initially launched and we were keen to upgrade the vehicles to allow for a greater level of passenger comfort. As a result these new Volvos are fitted to an extremely high specification.”
He continued: “We look forward to monitoring their progress over the forthcoming months, to measure their performance against that of competing vehicles from other manufacturers, that we’ve had in the past.”
Volvo’s B7RLE is fitted with the rear-mounted 7 litre diesel D7E engine, which is capable of 290hp. It also features excellent road safety, enhanced by powerful brakes, roll stabilisers and advanced suspension systems
The new vehicles are operating on the guided busway, routes 10 and 20, which serve Crawley, Gatwick Airport, Manor Royal Business District and Horley. The buses are fitted with the latest GPS tracking equipment and have more seats than ever before, without any loss of pushchair space.
Specifically designed as low floor vehicles, the Volvo B7RLEs are fully accessible to wheelchair users. Further passenger considerations include CCTV, an eye catching livery and talking announcements detailing the next stop and attractions along the route.
An infotainment screen outlines the next stop, along with special messages and the latest news. Passengers can also utilise the free Wi-Fi capability of the vehicles, which is optimised to the latest 4G standards.
Volvo Bus Regional Sales Manager, Phil Fletcher commented: “The B7RLE offers an ideal solution for a guided busway route, such as the Fastway service operated by Metrobus. We’re confident that our vehicles can improve of the fuel performance of the buses that they are replacing.”
26 August 2014
Caption for image:
Metrobus has placed 18 new Volvo B7RLE single deck buses into operation.