Manchester To Double Its Double Decker Electric Bus Fleet

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Back in September, we shared interesting news of an electric bus deal in Manchester, UK. The number of buses wasn’t super high (only 50 units), but each bus was like getting two buses in one because they were double-deckers. Therefore, given that a double-decker bus carries many more people than an electric bus, wouldn’t it be apt to state that they’ve ordered 100 electric buses instead?

Mayor Andy Burnham proudly unveiled the stunning black and yellow branding of Greater Manchester’s new Bee Network, which will be showcased on the Alexander Dennis zero-emission buses. This forward-looking venture has a grand ambition — to replicate London’s thoroughly integrated transportation system through its extensive network of buses, trams, walking paths, and cycling routes with plans for trains eventually in place too!

“We are delighted to have been chosen by Transport for Greater Manchester as supplier for the first tranche of zero-emission buses for the new Bee Network,” said Paul Davies, President & Managing Director, Alexander Dennis, back in September. “We look forward to playing our part in transforming bus services in Wigan and Bolton with these iconic buses, which will be built in the North of England at our factory in Scarborough and supported locally from our AD24 aftermarket hub in Skelmersdale.”

But, the real test of any vehicle isn’t whether it sells. It’s whether they can impress enough to sell again. And, that’s exactly what happened recently.

Not long ago, Alexander Dennis Limited received an order of 50 zero-emission double-decker buses from Transport for Greater Manchester. This new purchase doubles their existing total on the Bee Network bus system to 100, and that number is only set to grow! As these last 50 also happen to be double-deckers, it makes sense to call it 200!

This April, Greater Manchester will receive an additional 50 electric buses crafted in the UK. Thanks to government funding, this cleaner and more eco-friendly mode of transport can be used in Bury, Rochdale and Oldham as part of franchising’s second tranche launch. With these new buses comes a better way to get around; one that’s not only safe but also friendly towards our environment.

NFI has been tasked with a new order to add to their backlog of buses, 50 of which are set for use in the first Bee Network services in Wigan and Bolton come September 2023. Go North West and Diamond have already been selected as operators for these buses.

“This repeat order from Transport for Greater Manchester is a great recognition of the value added by our zero-emission buses, which will be built in the North of England at our factory in Scarborough and supported locally from our AD24 aftermarket hub in Skelmersdale,” said Paul Davies, President & Managing Director, Alexander Dennis. “With a total of 100 electric buses now on order from Alexander Dennis for the Bee Network, we are looking forward to helping to transform the public transport experience in the region.”

Local government officials were also impressed.

“There is strong momentum towards the delivery of the Bee Network — an integrated London-style transport system — and bus franchising alongside our Metrolink trams means we have a solid foundation to build from,” said Vernon Everitt, Transport Commissioner for Greater Manchester. “High demand for safe, reliable and affordable public transport in the region will only increase as we progressively join up our fares, ticketing and information systems to make using public transport easier and more accessible for everyone.”

Featured image provided by New Flyer/Alexander Dennis.

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Jennifer Sensiba

Jennifer Sensiba is a long time efficient vehicle enthusiast, writer, and photographer. She grew up around a transmission shop, and has been experimenting with vehicle efficiency since she was 16 and drove a Pontiac Fiero. She likes to get off the beaten path in her "Bolt EAV" and any other EVs she can get behind the wheel or handlebars of with her wife and kids. You can find her on Twitter here, Facebook here, and YouTube here.

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