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All aboard the new Belfast Rapid Transit ‘Glider’ vehicle

13 December 2017

Belfast public to be Introduced to Glider, a new innovative mode of travel for the city.


This week, the public will get the chance to sample the big change coming to Belfast’s public transport network. The first of the new Glider vehicles have just arrived and are set to be put on public display, ahead of their introduction to service in September 2018.

The Glider service, representing an investment of over £90m from the Department for Infrastructure,  is set to be the iconic new face of public transport in Belfast. The first of its kind here, the new Eco Hybrid Glider vehicles will help improve air quality in the city and also boast a host of modern features like Wi-Fi and USB charging facilities.  

Translink has arranged a special ‘drop in’ preview on Wednesday 13 and Thursday 14 December at Custom House Square, Belfast from 11am – 3pm. The public is invited to see first-hand the many new features and characteristics of this innovative new mode of travel.

Over the next eight months infrastructure enhancements will be completed and each new vehicle will undergo intensive testing and commissioning before entering passenger service. A training programme for both operational and engineering staff will be rolled out and a series of roadshows are planned to showcase the new vehicles to communities across the city. The roadshows will demonstrate to the public how to use the new service including new ticketing systems, to ensure the smooth introduction of Glider.  

Ahead of the preview at Custom House Square, The Lord Mayor of Belfast, Councillor Nuala McAllister, said: 

“Belfast - like all strong and vibrant cities - needs a transport system that is befitting a global city, and I believe the new Glider service will help to deliver that for Belfast and its residents, workers and visitors. 

“The Glider service will encourage more people to opt for public transport which in turn helps to ease congestion and improve air quality, so it’s a win-win situation for business, the economy, the environment and public health.”

Chris Conway, Translink Group Chief Executive, said: 

“Glider will transform public transport in Belfast.  Helping to energise our City, the service will enable easy and convenient travel for more people to more places.  Our customers can expect a modern, high-capacity and high-frequency rapid transit service which integrates with our existing networks. This preview is another  key milestone in this exciting project, and we look forward to getting first impressions from our passengers and the wider public.”

Ciarán de Búrca, Department for Infrastructure Director of Transport Projects said: “The new Glider service coming into operation in September 2018, is set to improve connectivity across the city and help us to achieve our ambition to increase the use of public transport, walking and cycling as set out in the Programme for Government.      

“I would encourage people to come along to Custom House Square on 13th and 14th of December to board the new Glider and find out more about the new service set to further enhance the image of Belfast and inspire more people to choose public transport.”

When introduced next year, Glider services will operate every 7-8 minutes throughout the working day linking East Belfast, West Belfast and Titanic Quarter via the city centre. The 18metre articulated Glider vehicles will use the latest diesel-electric hybrid engine technology delivering a smoother take off from halts, lower noise, reduced vibration and lower emissions.

To find out more about the dynamic new Glider service visit: www.translink.co.uk 

-ENDS-

Notes to editors:

The Glider vehicles provide a high quality environment for passengers in terms of space, accessibility, security and on-board information. They provide easy boarding for people with reduced mobility and parents with pushchairs as well as a mix of standing and seating areas with good legroom. They have three sets of double doors and good circulation room to enable rapid boarding and alighting, minimising the time spent at halts and therefore reducing journey times. 

Published
13/12/2017

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