Blackpool Transport has announced that it is to add an additional 25 Alexander Dennis Enviro400 City double deck buses to its fleet after the initial order of 10 proves a huge success for the operator and passengers.
The order was finalised by Jane Cole, Managing Director of Blackpool Transport at the Alexander Dennis Stand at this year’s Euro Bus Expo at the NEC in Birmingham. This new order fulfils Jane’s commitment to adding 25 more Enviro400 City vehicles to the fleet if the introduction of the first vehicles was successful from an operational and passenger perspective.
The first ten Alexander Dennis Enviro400 City double deck buses for the resort have been in service on the town’s high-profile Palladium route since July. These were developed to a unique Blackpool Transport specification as a result of a close collaborative partnership between the transport authority and Alexander Dennis, which started at the Bus and Coach Live show in 2015.
The 25 newly ordered double deck buses will be employed on route 14 and have been specified with a “social seating” configuration, this comprises of seats grouped around three tables in the upper saloon which will provide passengers with space for working and studying along with centrally sited USB charging points to improve connectivity.
Social seating is specified to make travel time more productive or sociable for the younger generation of passengers on their way to and from the schools and university which route 14 serves. It is also intended to increase ridership amongst other passenger segments including families and groups of friends.
The new buses will build on the already high-quality specification developed for the first ten vehicles and will maintain the strong styling, glazed stairwell, SkyView wrap-over rear window and individual USB charging points and onboard WiFi – which have been greatly praised by passengers.
Blackpool Transport is a truly visionary operator focused on delivering the ambitious goal of transforming the entire fleet of 130 buses serving Blackpool, Wyre and the Fylde Coast. Jane secured a multi-million-pound investment from Blackpool Council, the transport authority’s sole shareholder, to revitalise the whole bus fleet over a 5 year period.
Jane Cole, Managing Director at Blackpool Transport, commented “We have been delighted with our Enviro400 City vehicles already in service and have received fantastic feedback from locals and visitors alike. This is echoed by our own team with great praise from drivers to service technicians, and we are pleased that Christine Wright, Chair of Blackpool Council, has given her own seal of approval to the ADL vehicles. We are particularly proud of having responded to the needs of our disabled passengers who appreciate the low floor entry, wide access gangway and spacious wheelchair areas.”
Bob Mason, Service Delivery Director at Blackpool Transport, added “The vehicles deliver a great customer experience with modern features such as WiFi, USB charging points, audio and visual next stop customer announcements, e-leather seating and wood effect flooring. We are also getting very good MPG from these buses.”
It is hoped that the 25 new buses will arrive in March 2017 and enter service before Easter 2017.