Region’s first Platinum buses hit the road…
A £4 million fleet of high quality buses offering passengers free WiFi, faster journeys and extra leg room has been officially launched in Coventry.
The 18 new vehicles from bus operator National Express West Midlands are initially operating on the 900 service running between Coventry and Birmingham.
The new Platinum service, which boasts high-backed leather seats and next-stop announcements, will also benefit from bus-friendly road improvements along the route, which also serves Birmingham Airport.
Local highways authorities have worked with National Express West Midlands and invested hundreds of thousands of pounds to deliver road improvements that will ensure buses on this and future Platinum routes will compete with the car for journey times.
Once the road improvements are made journeys on these routes will be up to six minutes quicker.
Drivers of the services will also wear suits and each route will have a dedicated manager who will respond directly to customers’ concerns and be responsible for making sure buses run on time.
The vehicles are ultra low emission with Euro 6 engines and will reduce harmful emissions such as nitrogen oxide by up to 75% – greatly reducing the carbon footprint.
The Platinum buses, which have a grey exterior with flashes of red, are part of a record £34 million investment in 171 new vehicles by National Express West Midlands during 2015.
With a new bus arriving every day over the next few months, all 171 of the new vehicles will be carrying passengers across the West Midlands by September.
The investment will see National Express West Midlands delivering on the Transforming Bus Travel pledge it made with public transport co-ordinator Centro to deliver 300 new buses over a two year period.
John Murphy, Operations Manager for National Express Coventry said: “Our new Platinum buses will transform bus travel in the West Midlands, giving customers more leg room, free WiFi and crucially, thanks to our partnership with local councils, faster journeys.
“The buses, which are all built in Britain, will also have more comfortable seats, better lighting and crystal-clear CCTV.”
Cllr John McNicholas, chairman of Centro and Coventry City Council’s lead member for transport, added: “These new high quality services are yet another example of the benefits passengers are experiencing from our groundbreaking partnership agreement with National Express Coventry.
“By offering free WiFi, faster journeys and improved comfort, these Platinum services can help entice more people out of their cars and onto public transport, cutting pollution and road congestion in the process.
The Transforming Bus Travel: Partnership Plus agreement, which was signed by National Express West Midlands and Centro in 2013, is delivering more than £83 million of investment for the region’s bus passengers over two years, including the 300 new buses.
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