Nine new high-tech low-emission buses that have cameras instead of wing mirrors have hit the roads of Dundee this past weekend.
The Xplore double deckers, which went into operation on Sunday, feature more leg room, free WiFi and USB charging.
Although similar to the 14 buses that went into service last year, these nine new buses have additional side cameras fitted to the exterior of the vehicle, which provide the driver an “extremely clear” view of the road behind.
The systems will give the drivers the traditional mirror view at the top of the bus and a wide angle view in the lower half. The monitors automatically adjust the brightness of the screens and allow for increased visibility day and night.
The buses will operate on Service 5 and the Outer Circle.
Managing director of Xplore Dundee, Christine McGlasson, said: “We’re trying out this new technology as they are extremely clear and have a night vision function.
“We hope they’ll be even safer and more reliable than mirrors, and I’m confident the drivers of the new buses will quickly get used to them.”
Dundee’s bus fleet of Xplores is now 46% low emission, including 23 Emeralds, 17 retro-fitted double deckers and three Enviro 200 Euro VI single decks.
Xplore says it is collaborating with Dundee City Council as plans to introduce a new Low Emission Zone (LEZ) in the city progress. McGlasson said that the company is making a big effort to comply with the low emission targets.
A time frame for the LEZ’s introduction has yet to be confirmed by the council and it has come under fire from environmental groups as it does not include Lochee Road, one of the city’s most polluted streets.
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McGlasson said: “I’m very proud to say that with the addition of these nine new buses, almost half of Xplore Dundee’s fleet is now low emission.
“All of our Emeralds are equipped with Euro VI engines, which are so clean they reduce emissions by 95% and are better for the environment than even a single car.
“We have plans to continue phasing out the older stock, investing in new buses and retrofitting mid-life vehicles, so we hope that figure will increase to make at least 75% of our fleet low emission within the next couple of years.
“It’s all part of our contribution to improving air quality in Dundee and encouraging more people to leave the car at home and catch the bus instead.”