Minister for Transport and the Islands, Humza Yousaf, was in Forfar last Friday to mark the recent launch of seven brand new electric hybrid buses.
Stagecoach East Scotland introduced the new double deck vehicles to routes 20 and 21 last month and have celebrated their first few weeks of service by providing the 10,000th customer on board with four weeks’ free local bus travel.
Humza Yousaf was welcomed on one of the buses to mark the support provided by the ‘Scottish Green Bus Fund’.
The vehicle order forms a £2.1m investment by Stagecoach, of which £300k was offered by the ‘Scottish Green Bus Fund’ provided by the Scottish Government.
The Scottish Green Bus Fund has so far assisted with the purchase of 315 low carbon emission buses across Scotland for a number of bus operators and aims to support environmental projects and developments within the public transport industry. The fund has already supported the introduction of 18 electric-hybrid buses for Angus back in 2015, which are currently running on the Tayway 73 route between Dundee and Arbroath.
Transport Minister Humza Yousaf said: “I am pleased to be here today to see a further seven green buses introduced into the transport network in Angus. Not only are these modern buses better for the environment but they provide a better experience for the passenger.
“This Government is committed to reducing carbon emissions by 42 percent by 2020 and buses like these play an important part in that. We already have around 500 green buses in operation across Scotland.
“We have invested over £14.7 million through the Scottish Green Bus Fund (SGBF) which has helped bus operators purchase a range of low carbon emission vehicles.”
Routes 20 and 21 run between Edzell, Brechin, Forfar, Kirriemuir and Dundee providing regular journeys for commuters, students and shoppers into the city, including vital local links to Stracathro Hospital.
As well as low emissions, these vehicles are constructed to a high-specification with comfortable coach style “e-leather” seating, free wifi access and USB charging points.
Jon Oakey, Acting General Manager, Stagecoach East Scotland said: “We are committed to reducing our carbon footprint and the Scottish Green Bus Fund provides vital support with environmental projects to assist with these aims. These new vehicles have already been well received by the community and we’re delighted to celebrate the investment with Mr Yousaf.
“It’s great to meet some of our regular customers who have benefited from our vehicle investment and I’m pleased to present our 10,000th passenger, student Alix Small, with four weeks free travel to use on the service. We have also recently issued free travel vouchers to residents across Forfar, Kirriemuir, Brechin and Edzell, offering people a chance to try out our new vehicles for free.”
Local residents have been issued with an information pack, which included timetable and ticket information, as well as a free travel voucher and future discount offer, valid for bus travel in the area.