Thirty Bus Éireann Expressway buses will be replaced by brand new coaches in six towns and cities across the west and south of Ireland.
The new 60-seater buses will be deployed to Galway, Waterford, Cork, Limerick, Stranorlar and Sligo, connecting communities along the western seaboard on some of Expressway’s busiest routes.
The new coaches meet the latest Euro VI low emissions standards, reducing hydrocarbon emissions by at least 70% and nitrogen oxide by more than 88% compared to the 30 vehicles they will replace.
Bus Éireann Chief Executive Officer Stephen Kent said that today is an important day for Expressway after a very tough 15 months.
“It is very positive to be announcing such a significant investment in our fleet as the country emerges from the Covid-19 pandemic,” said Mr Kent.
“The virtual disappearance of some of the main markets for Expressway – Dublin Airport and third level education – as well as capacity restrictions have hit the business hard, but we are optimistic about the return to more normal operations.
“Having state-of-the-art vehicles is essential as this is a very competitive market and customer expectations are rising all the time.
“This investment demonstrates our commitment to the service, and to both improving the customer experience and to reducing our carbon footprint.”
Bus Éireann Chief Commercial Officer Eleanor Farrell added that the indications are that full capacity will be restored on public transport as early as 5 August, subject to prevailing public health guidance.
“We know that many people have not been able to travel with us since March 2020, and we have been busy in the meantime,” said Ms Farrell.
“We are very excited to be offering customers such an improvement in their Expressway experience, and especially those travelling in Ireland’s most popular tourist areas.
“We are more than ready for the staycation season. Customers booking with Expressway can look forward to travelling in comfort and style.
“Our new booking system MyExpressway will further enhance the customer experience, providing guaranteed seat reservations for all customers including those with Travel Passes, and contact-free payments on board with Android and Apple Pay.”
Built by VDL in The Netherlands, all of the 30 new 60-seater coaches will be deployed before the end of June.
Amongst the features customers can look forward to are reclining premium leather seats with adjustable headrests, charging plugs, tray tables and air con at every seat, and 4G WiFi. All of the coaches are also wheelchair accessible and have on-board toilets.