First Solent Adds Three New Premium Vehicles to Its Flagship Eclipse Fleet
- New vehicles push state-of-the-art Eclipse fleet investment to £6.5M
- Successful Eclipse Service used by more than 2 Million passengers annually
- Contactless payment option, free WI-Fi, USB charging make bus journeys more attractive
Passengers travelling on the Bus Rapid Transit link between Fareham and Gosport will be experiencing ‘that new car smell’ after bus operator First Solent added three brand-new vehicles to its premium fleet. Following the introduction of new ticketing machines last year, all high-spec Eclipse vehicles accept contactless payments, offer free Wi-Fi, USB charging points and are equipped with the latest environmentally-friendly engine technology. The premium wood-effect flooring and comfy seats will help ensure customers enjoy the very best that bus travel has to offer across South England.
The introduction of new vehicles comes after Hampshire County Council announced it successfully secured £7m funding to extend the bus way south towards Gosport.The new vehicles take First Solent’s total investment in the BRT scheme to £6.5 million since its first journey in April 2012; the entire fleet have the cleanest diesel engines money can buy and all vehicles feature the distinctive purple Eclipse livery.
First Solent’s Managing Director, Marc Reddy, said:
The success of our Eclipse Service has set the benchmark for similar schemes across the UK and is a wonderful example of how a strong partnership with a local authority can achieve shared objectives, such as encouraging more people to use public transport, reduce congestion and improve air quality.
With these new vehicles we expect to attract even more passengers, which will positively impact on congestion and air quality in the area, whilst also supporting the local economy enabling even more people to access education, leisure and work.
Councillor Rob Humby, Hampshire County Council’s Executive Member for Environment and Transport, said:
The Eclipse buses between Redlands Lane in Fareham and Tichborne Way in Gosport have proved a huge success - more than 20% of Eclipse passengers previously made their journeys by car. Eclipse buses are comfortable and reliable, and offer a viable alternative to the car. This investment in new buses will encourage even more passengers to switch, helping to improve air quality and reduce congestion on the roads.
Since launching Eclipse the number of people using the service has been rising steadily year-on-year, and in the last 12 months more than 2 million passengers have travelled on the service.
The entire Eclipse fleet uses the latest Euro VI engines, which produce 95% less oxides of nitrogen (NOx) emissions compared to Euro V engines, and as a result will help improve air quality across the route.