UK based bus manufacturer, Optare has marked its recent rebirth in the Australian and New Zealand market with the announcement by distributor, Bus Corp Oceania, of a major order for more than 100 buses to service the Greater Wellington region in New Zealand.

The order of 114 Optare Metrocity buses, worth more than $NZ40 million ($AUD36 million) for leading New Zealand bus operator Tranzit Coaches, will see the buses deployed throughout the Greater Wellington region from the capital all the way to Palmerston North.

The first of the Optare Metrocity buses is due to be delivered and on the roads in New Zealand in March 2018 with the entire 114 bus order set to be fulfilled by June 2018.

The order is Optare’s biggest ever single export order and increases the brand’s already healthy order bank for Australia and New Zealand.

The 114 bus order is for Euro 6 spec Optare Metrocity buses which were chosen by Tranzit Coaches for their low tare weight as well as their ability to generate significant tax and fuel savings and the overall low cost of operation and deployment.

According to Jason Pecotic, general manager of Bus Corp Oceania, the Optare distributor for Australian and New Zealand, the low tare weight from the monocoque construction meant the Metrocity offers 30 per cent more seating capacity while still fitting within New Zealand’s 12 tonne GVM tax bracket.

“Optare’s monocoque design saves around 900kg in weight, meaning it generates more payload while saving the operator money,” said Jason Pecotic.

“In this case we estimate that the Metrocity will deliver savings of around $4000 per bus per year for Tranzit before taking into account double digit savings in fuel consumption and operating costs,” he added.

The order will see a mix of 10.1 metre and 10.8 metre Optare Metrocity deployed on a wide range of routes including city, suburban and semi rural operations.

The Euro 6 spec Optares use latest technology Mercedes Benz drivelines ensuring low emissions and the highest levels of efficiency and green credentials.

Tranzit Coachlines has operated for more than 90 years and is New Zealand’s largest family-owned coach company and currently operates a fleet of more than of 1000 buses.

BCO has also announced it has appointed Trucks & Trailers NZ as the service dealer and parts distributor for Optare buses in New Zealand.

“With Optare’s Euro VI buses running Mercedes Benz drivelines, particularly this large new order for Tranzit, it was vital that we ensure the correct back up and after sales support for our bus customers across New Zealand and Trucks & Trailers is the perfect fit as our partner in New Zealand,” said Jason Pecotic.