Cork to benefit from €16m investment in Expressway buses

Cork to benefit from €16m investment in Expressway buses

Picture shows on the new Bus Éireann Expressway buses marking the announcement that Bus Éireann has invested €16 million in 30 new coaches and ticketing technology for its Expressway fleet, the most significant single investment in the company’s commercial service in over a decade. Pic: Naoise Culhane

Cork is one of six areas to benefit from a €16m investment in inter-regional coaches.

Bus Éireann has announced that 30 new Expressway coaches have joined their fleet with the entirety of the new buses to be up and running by the end of June.

The new fleet will be deployed to Waterford, Cork, Galway, Limerick, Stranorlar and Sligo, connecting communities right along the western seaboard on some of Expressway’s busiest routes.

The new coaches meet the latest Euro VI low emissions standards and will support the company’s commitment to reducing emissions, enabling a reduction of at least 70% in hydrocarbon emissions and at least 88% reduction in nitrogen oxide compared to the 30 vehicles they will replace.

The investment is the most significant made by Bus Éireann in its commercially operated Expressway service in more than a decade and reduces the average age of the 170-strong fleet to less than five years.

“This is a big day for Expressway after a very tough 15 months. It is very positive to be announcing such a significant investment in our fleet as the country emerges from the Covid-19 pandemic,” said Bus Éireann Chief Executive Officer Stephen Kent.

“The virtual disappearance of some of the main markets for Expressway – Dublin Airport and third-level education – as well as capacity restrictions, have hit the business hard, but we are optimistic about the return to more normal operations.

“Having state-of-the-art vehicles is essential as this is a very competitive market and customer expectations are rising all the time. This investment demonstrates our commitment to the service, and to both improving the customer experience and to reducing our carbon footprint.” 

The rollout of the new fleet comes ahead of the anticipated increase in capacity on public transport in the coming months and the return of airport and student travel which, combined, comprise half of Expressway’s market.

Bus Éireann has also invested more than €2.5m million in a new online booking system, MyExpressway, which provides both guaranteed advance seat reservations and contactless payments onboard.

Bus Éireann Chief Commercial Officer Eleanor Farrell said; “The indications are that full capacity will be restored on public transport as early as August 5, subject to prevailing public health guidance. We know that many people have not been able to travel with us since March 2020, and we have been busy in the meantime. We are very excited to be offering customers such an improvement in their Expressway experience, and especially those travelling in Ireland’s most popular tourist areas. We are more than ready for the staycation season.” 

All of the 30 new 60-seater coaches have reclining premium leather seats with adjustable headrests, charging plugs, tray tables and air-con at every seat, and 4G WiFi. All of the coaches are also wheelchair accessible and have onboard toilets.

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