TRANZIT NZ LANDS NEW UK-BUILT BUSES
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