Mark Martley at the wheel of the first electric bus in Ireland with Frances Byrne, Local Link Laois Offaly and John McEvoy and Denise Harris, Harris Group. Picture: Alf Harvey,
Transport for Ireland (TFI) Local Link Laois Offaly has launched its first electric bus that will operate across its service in both counties.
Local Link says the new vehicle represents the next generation of sustainable, accessible and affordable zero-emissions public transport.
Martley’s of Portlaoise, who operate a number of contracted services for TFI Local Link have taken this leap to sustainable transport. The 26-seater Higer STEED (Sustainable Transport Electric Energy Delivered) vehicle leads the charge in terms of passenger accessibility, outfitted with an 80% flat floor, a front wheelchair ramp comfortable seating, wide aisles and ample storage.
The bus is no wider than a standard ambulance and will be able to manoeuvre through the local towns and environs in Laois and Offaly. The fully electric vehicle is capable of urban and rural travel using intelligent Higer power-saving technology to extend the useable operational range between the required charging times.
Supplied by Harris Group of Dublin, Local Link says the vehicle highlights the company’s commitment to the future of bus transportation, staying true to its motto ‘keeping the wheels turning’. Harris Group is looking at the growing demand for greener bus solutions from public and private operators as well as the general public.
More below the picture of the bus on James Fintan Lalor Avenue in Portlaoise
Frances Byrne is TFI Laois Offaly General Manager.
“We are delighted to have this new addition on the road in Laois and Offaly and hopefully it will be one of many electric vehicles in the not-too-distant future. We are looking to a future where renewable and sustainable modes of transport will become part of our lives.
"TFI Local Link believes in helping to reduce carbon emissions and promote less usage on private cars in our local communities,” said the General Manager.
Bláthín McElligott is the TFI Local Link Programme Manager.
“The introduction of electric vehicles into the TFI Local Link network marks another step towards more frequent and environmentally sustainable commuting options that will help to significantly decrease our carbon footprint.
"By providing more accessible and sustainable methods of public transport we will reduce the need for personal vehicles, making the quality of the air we breathe healthier for everyone," she said.
TFI Local link Laois Offaly has over 60 services operating across Laois and Offaly providing over 200 trips across the week connecting our rural communities to their local villages and towns. Our growing bus services network has seen a steady rise over the past six years under the TFI Local Link family.
TFI Local Link is funded through the Rural Transport Programme under the National Transport Authority. The programme has grown over the years and TFI Local Link is a national brand recognised as providing a safe and reliable rural bus service through contracted local operators for our local communities.
For further information, on our services check out LocalLink.ie for our office and all our regional office colleagues details.