Transport for Greater Manchester has ordered 50 zero-emission double-deck buses from NFI Group Inc.’s Alexander Dennis Ltd. subsidiary for the first phase of the franchised Bee Network bus system, which will launch in September 2023.
These Alexander Dennis zero-emission buses will be the first to bear the branding of the new Bee Network, Greater Manchester’s ambition for a fully integrated, London-style integrated transport system comprising buses, trams, walking and cycling, and eventually trains.
The 50 new buses will be funded from the government’s City Region Sustainable Transport Settlement and are part of a planned program that will see approximately 300 additional electric buses to be delivered to the region from 2024 through to 2027.
“We are delighted to have been chosen by Transport for Greater Manchester as supplier for the first tranche of zero-emission buses for the new Bee Network,” says Paul Davies, president and managing director of Alexander Dennis. “We look forward to playing our part in transforming bus services in Wigan and Bolton with these iconic buses, which will be built in the North of England at our factory in Scarborough and supported locally from our AD24 aftermarket hub in Skelmersdale.
“Choosing Alexander Dennis shows Transport for Greater Manchester and the mayor’s commitment to building buses locally in the United Kingdom, for which we are grateful. The new livery will inspire pride in Greater Manchester’s Bee Network and the improvements it will deliver for the region.”
“The countdown to bringing buses back under local control for the first time in 36 years is well and truly on,” states Andy Burnham, mayor of Greater Manchester. “With the order placed for our first 50 new electric buses and strong interest from operators who want to run the first franchised services a year from now, the Bee Network is gathering real momentum.”