The decarbonisation of public transport in Northern Ireland has taken a significant leap forward with a new contract for 145 zero and low emission buses.
Representing an investment of around £66 million by the Department for Infrastructure, the programme will include the buses supplied by local firm Wrightbus and the associated infrastructure.
They form a key part of our WIB corporate members at Translink’s Net Zero Emissions Strategy and will be fundamental in creating cleaner and greener transport to positively impact the climate emergency and air quality.
The 100 zero emission buses comprise 80 Battery Electric Vehicles and 20 Hydrogen Fuel Cell Electric Vehicles and will be the most environmentally-friendly buses in Ireland. They will be deployed between Metro in Belfast and Foyle Metro services in Derry~Londonderry. There will also be 45 low emissions buses for Ulsterbus services across Northern Ireland.
Announcing the funding Infrastructure Minister Nichola Mallon said: “Cleaner, greener, sustainable transport is key to protecting our environment and fighting the climate crisis. I have an ambitious vision for a low carbon future where we make low emission public transport accessible to people and communities across Northern Ireland.”
Translink Group Chief Executive Chris Conway said: “Translink is leading the transport transformation to net zero emissions, we are responding to the climate emergency and driving positive change for a healthier and more sustainable transport for future generations.
“This bus order is just the start of an exciting new era for public transport in Northern Ireland as we work to build back responsibly following Covid19. Investment in a new zero emission fleet is great news for everyone, helping tackle the global climate emergency we all face and improving local air quality.
“We have ambitious targets to operate a zero-emission public transport fleet across Northern Ireland by 2040 and this development is an important first step. They will also deliver the highest levels of passenger comfort, convenience and accessibility
“As we progress this critical journey to net zero emissions transport, we will work with all stakeholders collaboratively to harness a shift in attitudes and behaviours towards more sustainable transport for future generations”, Chris concluded.
The first three hydrogen-powered double decker buses ordered earlier in the year are due to enter passenger service before the end of this year. They will only emit water - no Green House Gases or other pollutants – and are the first of their kind in Ireland.
All the new buses are due to be in service during 2021/2022.