New luxury Expressway fleet launched with over €9.2 million investment in 20 new coaches
- Top of the range coaches with 4G WiFi, courtesy toilets and charge points
Expressway intercity customers can look forward to travelling in style on new premium coaches, launched today as part of the company’s ‘Like the car, Only better’ campaign.
Over €9.2 million has been invested in the 20 new coaches – which form part of Bus Éireann’s commercial fleet – that feature reclining leather seats, complimentary on-board 4G WiFi, three PIN and USB power sockets, a courtesy toilet, wood style flooring and ISOFIX child seat attachment points. The bespoke design cues – in addition to the latest emission reducing technology, air conditioning and LED uplighting – are all part of a major rebrand to show that the new top of the range coaches, really are like the car, only better.
Built and delivered in a joint venture by Irizar in Spain, and Westward Scania in Roscommon, the 20 new coaches will go into service next week on Expressway’s 23 intercity routes. Bridgestone Ireland are the company’s tyre suppliers on the new vehicles, while Irish company Fleet Connect provide the latest 4G-powered free WiFi service.
Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport, Paschal Donohoe said: “The decision to rebrand the Expressway fleet and to make provision for 4G WiFi and three PIN and USB sockets will make Expressway even more appealing. The slogan ‘Like the car, only better’ is designed to tempt people away from their own vehicles and onto public transport, which is something that I have been actively encouraging in my role as Minister for Transport.
“As more and more jobs are created, we are seeing an increase in the number of cars on the road and a build-up of congestion in some areas, as a result. We must continue to deliver attractive public transport options if we are to persuade people out of the car and onto other transport modes, which I believe Expressway does. This will ensure that our traffic flows more freely and that economic growth is supported, as our economy develops further.”
In further good news for customers, another 40 premium coaches will be ordered for the Expressway network throughout 2015, and into 2016. The vibrant new red and silver livery - into which all the Expressway fleet are currently being re-painted - is also part of the rebranding strategy. The Expressway network has undergone a redesign in response to overall customer demand, with shorter journey times and more use of Ireland’s motorway network. Customers can currently avail of a €8 single seat sale – which runs up to February 22 next – at www.buseireannexpressway.com. A newly designed website – with online seat reservation system – will also be unveiled in the coming weeks, to make purchases more streamlined and customer-friendly.
Bus Éireann CEO Martin Nolan said the luxury new fleet represented a major service upgrade for customers, and that the focus on maximising the commercial potential of the Expressway product, is key to the company’s bottom line:
“We are very proud of the premium quality design developed for these new coaches, which are among the best any coach customer on the island of Ireland can expect to experience. The state-of-the-art comfort and safety features also come with first class eco-friendly engines. It would take 200 of these coaches to emit the same level of polluting emissions, as a 20 year old equivalent. These new luxury vehicles are being funded solely from our own resources.
“We will deliver another 20 later this year, while a further 20 are currently in the tender process. This year, we proudly celebrate 50 years of Expressway services, and this is the best possible way to mark it – by producing a product that exceeds all customers’ expectations, and encourages the public to ‘leave the car at home’, “ Mr. Nolan said.
Bus Éireann chairman Aidan Murphy said that that the company’s business and engineering design teams had worked hard to deliver the best possible product for the travelling public.
“This is the future of coach travel, and Bus Éireann have taken a lead in helping to design and implement the latest fleet technology and comfort features, for the benefit of customers. As a Board, we are very proud of the team effort delivered across the company – and with all stakeholders, including the in-house engineers, manufacturers, technical experts and marketers. The Expressway network and its customers will very much benefit from this major investment,” Mr Murphy said.
Wednesday, 4th February, 2015