Times They Are a-Changin’: Manchester’s first fully electric buses will cut Metroshuttle route emissions

Bob Dylan went electric, to much controversy, in 1965. Fifty years later, Manchester’s Metroshuttles are following suit.

The city’s first fully electric buses will soon be sparking into life on Manchester’s streets as part of Metroshuttle’s free hop-on hop-off service.

The three new environmentally friendly electric buses will join Transport for Greater Manchester’s 17 hybrid-electric buses, which already run on all three Metroshuttle routes.

The new vehicles will be put to use on the orange Metroshuttle 1 route from next week, which links Piccadilly station with many shopping, leisure and cultural areas of the city.

“The buses are a welcome addition to our fleet of green buses – and just part of Greater Manchester’s hard work to radically slash its carbon emissions by around one million tonnes every year,” said Councilor Mark Aldred, Deputy Chair of the Transport for Greater Manchester (TfGM) Committee.

“Metroshuttle is the largest free city centre bus service in the UK and carries millions of passengers every year, helping to cut congestion.”

In comparison to diesel fuelled buses, electric ones produce no emissions and are also generally cheaper to run.

They will also be quitter as Transport for Greater Manchester hope to increase its number of green busses to 300 by 2015.

Manchester already has more green buses than anywhere in the UK outside London and the buses, from Optare, have been jointly funded with the Department for Transport’s Green Bus Fund.

Operations manager for bus operator First, Vicky Tomlinson, said: “We’re looking forward to welcoming Metroshuttle passengers on board the new electric buses.

“They are a first for us and our drivers are enjoying taking them out on test runs to get used to the buses before they start running with passengers.”

Metroshuttle services run to all major areas of the city centre including Piccadilly rail station, Deansgate, Spinningfields, Manchester Victoria, Shudehill Interchange, Oxford Road and Salford Central train stations.

Image courtesy of Transport for Greater Manchester, with thanks

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