ABC (Australia) - - NEWS -

GREATER WELLING­TON CITY com­muters can now have their first trip to or from the city on­board one of Tranzit Group’s new Optare Metroc­ity buses.

The brightly coloured buses are op­er­ated by Tranzur­ban Welling­ton (a di­vi­sion of Tranzit Group) and are con­fig­ured in 10.1-me­tre (MC10130) and 10.8-me­tre (MC10820) lengths, which are ca­pa­ble of car­ry­ing up to 55 pas­sen­gers and have been built specif­i­cally to ser­vice the Greater Welling­ton routes. The smaller 10.1-m buses will be used around Welling­ton’s steep and wind­ing city streets.

Both the shorter MC10130 and the longer MC10820 de­riv­a­tives of the Metroc­ity buses have been fit­ted with the higher out­put 130kW (174hp) en­gines.

Tranzit Group is one of New Zealand’s pub­lic trans­port op­er­a­tors and is based in Master­ton in the Wairarapa re­gion of the North Is­land.

Tranzur­ban driver trainer Tua Tarara, who drove the bus to the of­fi­cial launch at The British High Com­mis­sion grounds at Karori, a sub­urb of Welling­ton, said that the bus han­dled the nar­row car-lined streets with ease, cour­tesy of a com­bi­na­tion of great ma­noeu­vra­bil­ity and an ex­cel­lent view of sur­round­ings from the driver’s seat. The of­fi­cial launch – which was held on April 19, 2018 – was at­tended by rep­re­sen­ta­tives from the Greater Welling­ton Re­gional Coun­cil, Optare Group, Tranzit Group, Bus­corp Ocea­nia and me­dia.

The rib­bon- cut­ting cer­e­mony was per­formed by Optare pres­i­dent Gra­ham Bel­gum and act­ing British High Com­mis­sioner He­len Smith, who said that “as a new mother” she could ap­pre­ci­ate the ben­e­fits that will be gained by par­ents of in­fants and young chil­dren when mak­ing use of the ded­i­cated pushchair and pram bay, sit­u­ated at the front, on the near­side of the bus.

Nat­u­rally, all buses have wheel­chair ac­cess and a ded­i­cated wheel­chair bay sit­u­ated on the op­po­site side from the pram bay.

An­other fea­ture of the new buses is a bike rack fit­ted to the front of the bus which folds out and has a two-bike ca­pac­ity.

Chris Laid­law, Chair of the Greater Welling­ton Re­gional Coun­cil ex­plained the pur­chase of 114 Optare buses suc­cinctly when he said, “At Greater Welling­ton we’re on our way to a more in­te­grated pub­lic trans­port net­work, so we can

“... we’re on our way to a more in­te­grated pub­lic trans­port net­work”

take more peo­ple to more places, more of­ten, at the same time as re­duc­ing emis­sions”.

Optare Metroc­ity buses were cho­sen for their Euro 6- cer­ti­fied Mercedes OM934 en­gines and for the unique mono­coque con­struc­tion, which re­duces the bus’s un­laden weight by 900kg, al­low­ing a fully loaded bus to op­er­ate at un­der 12 tonnes GVM, it’s claimed.

Above: British High Com­mis­sioner He­len Smith, Tranzit driver trainer Tua Tarara and Optare Pres­i­dent Gra­ham Bel­gum

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