FIRST Bus is ready to face the challenge ahead after announcing two new projects that will see it bring the electric revolution to local transport networks.

On the back of the news that the planet has just experienced the hottest July on record, stark headlines on climate change and its ever-increasing extreme effects on the world we live in are becoming an all too frequent feature of our day-to-day lives.

It’s clear that we have to change our environmental behaviour if we are to have any chance of mitigating the effects of climate change, and First Bus is ready to play its part. As one of the UK’s largest bus operators, First Bus is already making sure that the services that we operate contribute towards reducing carbon emissions as key partners.

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Every double decker bus that we operate has the potential to remove 75 cars from our already congested roads, and our fleet renewal programme has already delivered 225 ultra-low emission diesel buses in Glasgow, which are kinder to the environment when compared to the standard diesel buses that they’ve replaced. However, we’re also exploring the use of alternative fuel sources in our drive to further reduce the carbon footprint of our operations.

One such project that we’re making preparations for in Glasgow is the conversion of one of our commercial bus routes to all-electric operation.

Service M3 will receive a pair of brand new electric single decker vehicles as part of a £1.5m grant in partnership with Scottish Power Energy Networks. The grant will also future proof the city’s Caledonia depot through the installation of 22 electric charging points, which allows the business to explore electric bus operation in the future.

Meanwhile in Aberdeen, First are key partners in the operation of a world first, as the city prepares to welcome the very first hydrogen powered double decker buses.

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This project, which has been funded by Aberdeen City Council, the European Union (FCH JU) and the Scottish Government, will deliver a fleet of 15 brand new buses for use on the local bus network. This investment builds on the initial research funding contributed by the Scottish Cities Alliance and follows the fleet of 10 hydrogen fuel cell buses that already operate in the city.

Built by Wrightbus, the new vehicles are more efficient then electric equivalents, with refuelling taking less than 10 minutes and offering a greater operating range. As the buses only emit water, their operation reduces emissions and will contribute towards the City of Aberdeen’s commitment to tackling air pollution.

Through both of these projects, it is clear that First Bus is ready to meet the challenge faced by local transport to deliver low carbon travel solutions.

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The Herald’s Climate for Change initiative supports efforts being made by the Scottish Government with key organisations and campaign partners. Throughout the year we will provide a forum in The Herald newspaper, online at and in Business HQ magazine, covering news and significant developments in this increasingly crucial area.

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