Minister Eamon Ryan at the launch of the new Bus Éireann Electric Town Bus service.

Two awards for Athlone's Electric Town Bus Service

Bus Éireann's Athlone Electric Town Service project won two awards at the PwC Business Post Sustainable Business Awards this week.

The project was successful in the Sustainable Project: Transport award category as well as winning the overall top Grand Prix award competing against other category winners such as An Post and Bank of America. The awards were adjudicated by an independent panel of experts in environmental, social and governance issues.

The Athlone electric town service was launched in January 2023 following investment of €10 million by the National Transport Authority (NTA). The project is part of the Pathfinder Programme which plays a key role in the implementation Governments National Sustainable Mobility Policy. More than 540,000 km are operated on the town service annually, with more than 10,000 passenger journeys every week.

David McGee of PwC (left), Rory Leahy, Chief Safety and Sustainability Officer, Bus Éireann and Daniel McConnell, editor of the Business Post.

In a statement, Bus Éireann commended the hard work and commitment of drivers, its cross functional team, engineering department and project partners to facilitate this transition to a fully electric town fleet, and said it looks forward to continuing to serve the people of Athlone.

Speaking at the award ceremony last night, Rory Leahy, Chief Safety and Sustainability Officer, Bus Éireann said “Bus Éireann are delighted to have our project, Ireland’s first all-electric town service in Athlone, recognised and celebrated as the top award winner. Since the project’s launch in January 2023 the 11 electric buses have collectively completed over 170,000 emission free kms. They are providing a quieter, cleaner service and a more pleasant journey for passengers and drivers, and positively affecting Athlone town centre in terms of noise and air quality.”

These awards represent Bus Éireann’s commitment to sustainability and reducing its emissions. Bus Éireann is committed to reducing its energy consumption and emissions by 50% by 2030 in line with the 2021 Climate Action Plan.

Bus Éireann is transitioning 100% of its urban public service obligation fleet to zero emissions vehicles with associated EV charging/H2 refuelling infrastructure, and aims to complete this journey by end 2035.

Bus Éireann also recently signed a €3 million contract with Hitachi to begin electrification of Limerick depot. This project is funded by the NTA as part of the transformation of Ireland’s urban bus fleets to zero tailpipe emission vehicles. Hitachi will work with Bus Éireann to deliver a new on site MV electricity substation, install 24 charge points, carry out all civil & cabling works and the commissioning of the charging infrastructure.