A smoother ride is en route for long distance commuters with the announcement by Bus Éireann of order for luxury double deck coaches
High capacity and high comfort coaches to enter service for the first time in 2008, as commuting distances hit record levels
31st October 2007
More commuters than ever are rising before dawn to travel distances of up to 100 kms into Dublin each day.
Bus Éireann says the distances people are commuting in and out of the capital have never been greater, with customers travelling daily to Dublin from places as far away as Virginia, Newry, Athlone and Gorey.
The company says it is this growing phenomenon of ‘long distances commuting’ that has prompted it to introduce a new type of vehicle geared specifically for weary commuters - the luxury double deck coach.
With funding provided under Transport 21, Bus Éireann has placed an order for 32 such double deck coaches. When they are introduced in 2008, they will be the first of their kind to operate in Ireland on scheduled services.
Double deck coaches are rarely if ever seen in Ireland and are typically associated with touring. A hybrid vehicle, they are designed to combine the carrying capacity of a double deck bus with the comfort and smoother ride associated with a coach. This makes them ideal for use on busy commuter routes.
Bus Éireann Public Relations Manager Erica Roseingrave said: “Because they are high capacity, double deck coaches are ideal for use on busy commuter routes, especially at peak times. Plus, because they offer comfortable seating and interiors, they mean a smoother ride over the longer distances people are increasingly commuting.”
Bus Éireann has placed an order with Dutch coach manufacturer VDL for 32 VDL Berkhof Axial 100 Double-Deck Coaches. Delivery is scheduled to commence on a phased basis from spring 2008.
The majority of the new coaches will be allocated to the Eastern region for use on the the Navan-Dublin route. The introduction of the new vehicles will coincide with a new high frequency ‘city style service’ on the route - a 15 minute all day frequency from 05.20until 23.00, as well the roll-out of upgraded customer facilities such as enhanced bus stops and shelters.
Approximately 8 of the new double deck coaches will also enter service in Cork (routes to be decided).
- Specification - : High Comfort and High Capacity, Accessible and Energy Efficient
The coaches are fully wheelchair accessible by means of a ramp. They are also energy efficient and bio fuel compatible. They come fitted with larger than standard luxury leather seats with a recline option and have more leg room and more extras such as individual overhead air vents and reading lights.
In addition, the cabin is air conditioned with tinted double glazing to further enhance passenger comfort, noise levels are lower than on a bus and additional security for the driver and passenger is provided by an 11-camera CCTV system.
Erica Roseingrave added: “We are seeing very large volumes of people commuting incredibly long distances into Dublin now, from places that would not traditionally have been considered part of the commuter belt. Over longer distances, people like more comfort and our new double deck coaches are specially designed for a more relaxing journey.”
Long distance commuting is the norm in the UK where people travel even greater distances to and from London on a daily basis. There, particularly in areas not served by rail, bus companies have successfully introduced such double deck coaches to and from areas such as Kent.
Further information on the VDL Berkhof Axial 100 Double-Deck Coach
12.9 litres, 462 hp
Euro 4 low emissions rating
Capability to run on 5% biofuel without modification
The Axial 100 is capable of carrying up to 78 passengers.
Media and Public Relations, Bus Éireann
Wednesday, 31st October, 2007