New buses will be capable of zero-tailpipe-emissions operation which is good news from an air quality point of view.

NTA has commenced the procurement process for up to 600 double-deck hybrid buses, as a key element of the BusConnects programme. NTA intends to enter into a Single Supplier Framework Agreement for the buses.

This process is part of the transition to low emission buses, including electric buses, for the urban public bus fleet, as provided for in ProjectIreland 2040 and the Climate Action Plan.

The Framework Agreement is intended to permit the purchase of double-deck diesel-electric hybrid buses from the supplier during the period of the Framework Agreement.

It is envisaged that up to 600 buses may be purchased under this Framework Agreement over a period of about five years. The first delivery could take place before the end of 2020.

While the EU’s revised Directive on the promotion of clean and energy-efficient road transport vehicles (a.k.a. the ‘Clean Vehicles Directive’) is not expected to enter into force until sometime in 2021, the NTA’s aim is to ensure compliance with the directive for all new city buses delivered from next year onwards.

As such, any bus proposed by a manufacturer for inclusion in this tender will be expected to meet the definition of a ‘clean vehicle’ provided for in the revised Directive.

NTA spokesperson said:

“The new hybrid buses are expected to be at least 30% more energy efficient than current diesel-only buses, and as a result will reduce harmful greenhouse gas emissions.

The NTA also intend that the new buses will be capable of zero-tailpipe-emissions operation. This capability, combined with the overall reduction in energy consumption, will contribute to an improvement in air quality in the Irish cities that will be served by these buses.”

The buses to be provided under the Framework Agreement are intended to:

  • be double-deck vehicles with a minimum of 40 seats on the upper deck, a minimum of 17 seats (not including longitudinal tip-up seats) on the lower deck and an overall capacity (including standees) of 70 passengers or greater, subject to the vehicle length not exceeding 11.50 metres;
  • be equipped with a chassis incorporating a low-floor section within which the following are located:
    • a wide front entrance doorway fitted with a twin-leaf door and a motorised ramp suitable for unaided wheelchair access;
    • a dedicated wheelchair space, which can be easily accessed from the front entrance doorway ramp;
    • a dedicated buggy space, which can be easily accessed from the front entrance doorway ramp; and
    • a wide centre exit doorway fitted with a twin-leaf door;
  • conform to EU/UNECE Vehicle Category M3 and belong to UNECE Class I;
  • be designed for both seated and standing passengers;
  • be suitable for use on city and suburban routes with frequent passenger stops;
  • be suitable for travelling on mixed roadways at speeds of up to 65 kilometres per hour;
  • meet the relevant definition of a ‘clean vehicle’ under the European Union’s (EU’s) forthcoming revised Directive on the promotion of clean and energy-efficient road transport vehicles (a.k.a. the ‘Clean Vehicles Directive’), which is anticipated to enter into force from mid-2021 onwards;
  • be capable of zero-tailpipe-emissions operation, in order to leverage the air quality benefits of zero-emission vehicles in advance of the roll-out of the infrastructure necessary to support their widespread introduction;
  • be equipped with a powertrain incorporating a Euro VI compliant diesel engine;
  • comply with Irish legislation in relation to suitability for use on public roads;
  • be laid out in a right-hand driving configuration; and
  • have an expected efficient operational life of at least 12 years.


Further details at