Xplore Dundee is committed to contributing to cleaner air for our city.
On 17 July – Clean Air Day 2021 – the bus operator is looking forward to introducing Dundee’s first fully electric buses, and continues to upgrade existing vehicles to bring them up to the cleanest engine standards available.
An intensive improvement programme during the past three years has significantly enhanced the green credentials of the city’s main bus fleet – currently more than half of its vehicles are now low emission Euro VI diesel.
That includes the new-look Airport Xpress, which is back in service from 21st June between Dundee and Edinburgh Airport using a fleet of low emission coaches.
Managing Director Christine McGlasson said: “Before the pandemic we were in the middle of a significant fleet upgrade, investing in new low emission vehicles and retrofitting our older stock with the technology to bring them up to the right standards.
“While this programme has had to go on the back burner for the past few months, we’re pleased to be moving forward again with the arrival of twelve brand new fully electric double-deckers in the autumn.
“These ‘Electric Emeralds’ will be similar to our existing hi-spec Emerald vehicles, with the added bonus that they will be zero emission and we’ll be operating them on Service 28, which serves Lochee Road, one of the city’s air quality hotspots.
“It’s a significant milestone in our efforts to provide a high quality sustainable public transport offering for Dundee.”
Xplore Dundee is now part of the UK’s largest independent bus operator, McGill’s Buses, which is investing £32.5 million in 68 electric vehicles for its depots in Dundee, Johnstone and Inchinnan. This is partly funded by the Scottish Government’s Scottish Ultra Low Emissions Bus Scheme (SULEB).
Work is about to get underway by Zenobe Energy at each depot to fully electrify each garage in preparation for its new EVs.
Xplore Dundee is also working with Dundee City Council and other operators across the region to secure more bus priority measures to reduce congestion and pollution in the city centre.
Two new bus lanes in Meadowside and West Port opened in April, with the aim of speeding up journeys and keeping buses out of the queues of traffic which can build up in these areas.
Christine said: “We really believe that buses are the solution to pollution. One double decker can take up to 75 cars off the road, and we know that there needs to be a reduction in the number of private cars on our streets in order to meet Scotland’s targets for net zero and combatting climate change.
“There’s a misperception that buses are dirty and polluting vehicles but in fact less than 5% of road transport greenhouse gas emissions come from buses and coaches. In contrast, 60% comes from cars.
“If UK drivers switched just one car journey a month to bus it would mean one billion fewer car journeys and a saving of 2m tonnes of CO2.
“So we’re working to offer the best and most sustainable bus service we can, to give people an attractive and viable alternative to driving in Dundee.”
Visit the Xplore Dundee website for more information.