Alexander Dennis has handed over the first five of 100 electric double-deck buses ordered by Transport for Greater Manchester.
The first 50 zero-emission buses will enter service in Wigan, Bolton and parts of Salford and Bury in September, when the new Bee Network starts to bring buses under local control for the first time in nearly 40 years.
A further 50 will be delivered in March 2024, when bus franchising will be extended to Bury, Rochdale and Oldham and parts of Manchester, Salford and Tameside, before services across the rest of Greater Manchester follow in January 2025.
Each BYD–Alexander Dennis Enviro400EV zero-emission bus is 10.8m long and seats 62 passengers, with two wheelchair bays, hearing induction loops, audio and visual announcement systems and anti-slip flooring.
Bus services are a key part of Greater Manchester’s Bee Network plan for a more accessible and integrated transport network, bringing together local trams and buses – and ultimately local train services – with what is said to be the largest walking, wheeling and cycling network in the UK.
Mayor of Greater Manchester, Andy Burnham, said: “By bringing buses under local control and investing in new vehicles, routes, and services, we will start to transform how people get around Greater Manchester.
“Key to that is a world-class fleet of modern, accessible, and environmentally friendly buses – which is what these are. It was great to see the first ones off the production line and I can’t wait to see them full of passengers when the first services come under local control from September.”
The new buses will be funded from the UK government’s City Region Sustainable Transport Settlement.