Belfast Telegraph

Pictured: New Belfast rapid transit glider vehicle unveiled

The new Belfast Rapid Transit Glider vehicle has been unveiled at the Busworld Europe exhibition in Belgium.

The new service will come into operation in September 2018 and Translink have said it is set to transform public transport in Belfast.

Glider services will operate every 7-8 minutes throughout the working day, linking East Belfast, West Belfast and Titanic Quarter via the city centre. 

The 18 metre articulated Glider vehicles will use the latest diesel-electric hybrid engine technology which Translink say will deliver a smoother take off from halts, lower noise, reduced vibration and lower emissions. 

Each Glider vehicle will carry 105 passengers and will feature real time passenger information, audio next stop and destination announcements, CCTV, free Wi-Fi, USB charging facilities and air conditioning.

Ciarán de Búrca, Department for Infrastructure Director of Transport Projects said: “Today we see a very significant step forward for the £90m flagship Belfast Rapid Transit project, with the launch of the Glider vehicle and brand.

“The new Glider vehicles, which have been specifically designed for Belfast, will start arriving in Belfast later this year. They will provide a new, modern, improved public transport experience for everyone who lives, works, socialises or visits the city.

Ciarán de Búrca, added: “The new Glider service will help to meet the future transport needs of our modern, fast growing city. Glider will not only improve connectivity and social interaction across the city but will encourage active travel choices, supporting the growth of sustainable transport”

“I congratulate Van Hool on this magnificent new vehicle which I know will be a valuable asset to Belfast for many years to come”.

The new Glider service will be operated by Translink.

Its group Chief Executive Chris Conway said: “Glider is the iconic new face of public transport in Belfast, helping to energise the city. Our customers can expect a modern, high-capacity and high-frequency rapid transit service which integrates with our existing bus and rail network.

"With additional features such as on-board Wi-Fi, USB charging facilities and a new innovative and easy-to-use, off-vehicle ticketing system, Glider will deliver quicker boarding times and offer excellent value for money fares.

“Glider is a transformational development for public transport in Belfast. We’d like to thank the Department for Infrastructure for essential funding to deliver this major project and look forward to the arrival of the first vehicles in Northern Ireland later this year.”

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