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The future is purple

The cat is already out of the bag as we are sure many of you have seen the first of our brand new purple 17 bio-gas buses running in service since the start of the year!

These innovative buses are part of a major upgrade for the route which runs between Tilehurst, Oxford Road, Central Reading, Cemetery Junction and the Three Tuns on Wokingham Road. 

what's new?

The buses are part of the the very latest specification with some Reading Buses standard (which are definitely not the norm on other buses around the UK!) features and some brand new innovations!
Check out the features below of these vehicles that will be running on our flagship route. 
  • Natural gas power – the buses run on low carbon bio-gas, rather than diesel, and meet the latest stringent Euro 6 emission standards
  • Space for two wheelchairs users, instead of the mandatory one space
  • Exterior lighting to make purple buses easier to identify at night and help illuminate pavements and roadsides for customers when the bus stops
  • At seat USB charging points
  • Coat/bag hooks at seat
  • Free superfast 4G Wi-Fi
  • A group seating area upstairs with a table and ‘air charge’ mobile phone charging dock
  • Comfortable high back seats
  • Next stop’ audio and visual announcements
  • High quality on board ambience including coffee shop style wood effect flooring, mood lighting and styling.

If you think the above is enough to mark these buses out as special, you will be excited to know there's even more!

A great deal of thought has gone into the bodywork, including a stylish glass staircase design which makes these buses look even better.

Get acquainted with the new buses 'en route' with our animation below!

 

two doors are better than one

The really exciting feature, a game changer in our eyes, is that these vehicles feature two doors, one for getting on and one for exiting the bus - similar to London buses. This will provide a huge benefit at busy stops by speeding up the time it takes buses to pick up and drop off, as both can happen simultaneously rather than people boarding having to wait until everyone has got off.

how to use the middle doors

When on the bus, press the bell for your stop as usual. When the bus stops you can exit through the middle doors. The driver should open them for you just like the front ones. New technology in this area means that sensors and CCTV make this process super-safe. 
If you are waiting for the bus, please ensure that you only get on through the front doors as you will still have to pay for/scan a ticket or scan your smartcard on the ticket machine. The middle doors are covered with CCTV to ensure that people are not using them for getting on - and they will not open unless someone has pressed the bell to get off. 

Not all stops along the route are compatible with the use of the middle doors, but we estimate around 90% of them are. For the ones that are not, you should here an announcement saying 'please exit through the front doors'.

speedy boarding - closely followed by speedy route!

The dual door function, is part of our strategy to help improve reliability and comfort for customers on this route. 
This will be supported by the Council’s forthcoming red route scheme, which will provide a dramatic improvement in bus journey times along the route. This will have the added benefit of reducing how long buses are stationary at stops, some of which are on the main carriageway and will therefore benefit all road users.

And don't forget, our purple 17 buses still run up to every 7 minutes and are 24/7 meaning there is no last bus! You can pay with cash, by contactless or by mTickets on your mobile using our free app (search Reading Buses on the app and play stores).
Once you have the app, you can also track your buses live on the route map meaning you can always be sure that your bus is just around the corner and leave work, home or maybe even the pub only when you need to. Never wait for a bus again!

thanks for coming!

We officially launched these brand-new buses on Broad Street in Reading on Saturday 13 January. We had loads of fun showing you your new low carbon bio-gas buses. Check out a couple of photos below - there will be more on facebook and twitter!

   

and there's more!

We're also working with the Broad Street Mall and Brick Galleria to hold a follow on 'build a bus' LEGO® brick event at the Broad Street Mall on the 14th, 15th and 16th February (during half term) where people can build their very own purple 17 bus out of LEGO® bricks! More details will be coming out very shortly - so keep an eye out!