Mint Green becomes Emerald
Sunday 10th May saw the entry into service of Reading's second batch of new Enviro 400 MMCs 759-74 for routes 5 and 6 branded 'Emerald' to highlight the various new features of the vehicles.
773 in Basingstoke Road on it's first day in service, 10th May. Thanks to Graham Low for this photo.
An official launch was held for the media at Great Knollys Street on Tuesday 5th May along with the company's current star of the year, and the winners from the four previous years to highlight the five star service. In addition to Euro 6 engines, the buses feature USB charging points and 4G WiFi for the first time in Reading, and are the first in the country to have Lazzerini Ethos lightweight seats with a new black spotty moquette designed for Reading Buses and green leather headrests. They also have white front LED destination displays, with orange on the side and rear.
767 passing Whitley Pump during it's first week in service. Thanks to Mark Lyons for this photo.
On Saturday 9th May 767 was parked in Broad Street for a customer launch event that featured theatrical and musical performances by Reading Repertory Theatre on an emerald theme. Sunday 10th saw 760, 762, 764, 766, 769, 770 and 773 enter service, with the rest the following day apart from generic 759 which had appeared by Friday.
767 in Broad Street on 9th. Thanks to Richard Mallett for this photo.
The branding within the advert frames on the vehicles varies between 'charge into town - WiFi and USB chargers' (760, 765, 767, 772, 773), 'waitless buses - up to every 8 minutes' (761, 762, 763, 769, 770) and 'why struggle home - £1.20 between town and Whitley Street' (764, 766, 768, 771, 774). The bus stop flags and printed literature have also been refreshed with the new Emerald branding.
761 at Northumberland Avenue terminus on 26th May.
774 at Engineers Court on 26th May.
The following week - 18 May - various sets of roadworks started on Station Road and the roundabout outside the station making several stops inaccessible until 12 July. Routes 3, 9, 19 and 82k and Stagecoach 72/82 have been relocated onto the route 5/6 stop SC on Station Road, with the 5/6 relocated onto the route 11 stop FM in Friar Street. Meanwhile the 13/14 are terminating opposite the Apex Plaza, whilst their usual stop EM outside the old Great Western Hotel is being used as a temporary taxi rank.
764 in Friar Street on 26th May 2015. Many vehicles in the fleet are currently carrying adverts for the forthcoming Reading University open day.