Investment in the bus fleet

"more accessible and attractive bus
services... and Wi-Fi ... and new uniforms"
28 September 2012


Dear Colleagues,

This week Regional Development Minister Danny Kennedy joined us in showcasing a £29 million investment in our buses, representing 87 new Goldline buses and 58 Metro buses. Some of these have already gone into service, the remainder will be introduced later this year and in early 2013.

The Goldline coaches will be used for express services on longer routes. When all these coaches are in service this will see the majority of Goldine Express services operated with modern new vehicles. The new coaches are of a very high standard of comfort and quality with leather seats and additional leg room and customers will also be able to enjoy access to free WiFi on key Goldline routes from 1st October. Response from passengers already has been fantastic.

The new Metro buses are replacing older vehicles in the fleet to make Metro Services 100% wheelchair accessible and the additional double deck buses will also allow us to increase capacity on busy routes. This major investment in our bus fleet ensures we continue to provide accessible and attractive bus services for Northern Ireland.

I would like to thank our engineers for working with suppliers to deliver these high spec bespoke vehicles. We can now look forward to attracting even more passengers to consider public transport as part of their commute for business, study or leisure.

Alongside this there has been investment by DRD in bus lanes. There are already early indications that bus passengers are enjoying more reliable journeys and numbers at P&R sites have increased. Please ensure your family and friends join all those enjoying the benefits of new buses and new bus lanes.

Continuing on the theme of investment, we have recently begun a roll out of a uniform refresh for our 'front line' bus and rail staff as well as our engineering staff. This will help to promote customer confidence and in turn help generate respect for all employees while enhancing customer perception of our service delivery and customer care.

Finally, we have been advising passengers of potential delays and disruption to bus and rail services in Belfast this weekend, due to commemorative parades to celebrate the centenary of the signing of the Ulster Covenant on Saturday, September 29th. It is likely that Metro services will be most affected in East Belfast and the City Centre. There will be a number of feeder parades and events prior to the main parade assembling at Belfast City Hall. The main parade will make its way to Stormont Estate at 11am with 20,000 participants and supporters anticipated to take part. Metro services will operate via diversionary routes as the feeder parades and main parades pass. Details of alternative departure points from the city centre can be found on Translink website. NI Railways will also be operating some additional and strengthened services to and from Belfast. I would like to recognise the time and effort that our employees have put into managing the logistics of this major undertaking. 

Catherine Mason,

Group Chief Executive