Free electric bus service begins operation in Leicester 

Starting today, complimentary electric bus transportation will be available for commuters to travel around the city centre of Leicester.

By City Monitor Staff

Leicester is set to launch a new free electric bus service, the Greenlines Hop, today (Monday 3 April) to make commuting easier for those with mobility issues. The service will connect major transport hubs, shopping areas and popular attractions in the city centre.

Leicester bus
Leicester’s new free Hop service commences operation on Monday 3 April. (Photo courtesy of Leicester City Council)

Leicester’s electric bus service will operate three zero-emission green shuttles, each seating 21 passengers, every ten minutes on an anti-clockwise loop, with 12 stops along the route. The Hop service will run from 8am to 6pm from Monday to Saturday, fitted with electronic information displays, next-stop announcements, Wi-Fi, and USB charging at each seat.

The stops will offer real-time information displays and text-to-speech facilities. The Hop buses will have a unique sound, with all three buses fitted with a distinctive ‘ribbit’-effect bell, and branded with a friendly frog motif.

Leicester electric bus on trial

Leicester City Council will launch the free service for an 18-month trial as part of its Leicester Buses Partnership commitments.

Director of planning, development and transportation Andrew Smith said in a release: “Since we announced the new Hop service a fortnight ago, public reaction has been extremely positive, with people welcoming the idea of a free, shuttle linking Leicester’s transport hubs with popular destinations.”

The Hop service, costing around £1m, has been purchased with funding from the Department for Transport’s Transforming Cities Fund. The city council will fund the service’s promotion and operation, with Centrebus being contracted to run the service. Transport Focus has welcomed the launch of Hop services by Leicester Buses Partnership, stating that it will provide passengers with a frequent and reliable service that links key transport hubs with popular destinations.

The Hop service is the latest addition to Leicester’s Greenlines network, which already operates electric buses on the Hospital Hopper service, the Orbital service, and the Park & Ride services at Birstall, Meynell’s Gorse, and Enderby. Greenlines is set to expand over the next eight years, subject to funding availability, to improve the city’s air quality, cut emissions, and make high-quality sustainable public transport accessible to all.

[Read more: Mexico City’s electric bus rapid transit system begins operation ]

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