Translink is a public corporation in Northern Ireland which provides the public transport in the region. NI Railways, Ulsterbus and Metro are all part of Translink.
Functioning at the heart of communities, public transport enables a region to thrive, and helps address congestion and air quality, creating healthier towns and cities. On an individual level it gives people choices, freedom and more opportunities in terms of business, education, shopping, travel, tourism and leisure pursuits.
The Translink Senior Leadership Team recognises that climate change is the most pressing environmental challenge of our time and understands that public transport has a huge role in enabling the NI economy to reach net zero.
What Translink Did
In June 2020, Translink developed a seven-year bus procurement programme which focused on providing the capability for a modal shift to sustainable transport. The COVID-19 pandemic caused a considerable drop in commuter journeys and this presented an opportunity for the like-for-like replacement of vehicles, and the consideration of zero-emissions technologies.
The ‘Zero Emission Project’ rationale was driven by, amongst other things: climate change and air quality concerns; current and future customer demand; the age of the current fleet of vehicles; targeting social need; reducing traffic congestion; and meeting regulatory standards with regards to accessibility, emissions and safety.
The Zero Emission Project procured 80 battery electric buses and 20 hydrogen fuel cell buses for deployment into the Belfast Metro Network during the Spring and Summer of 2020 and provided the necessary training and upskilling or operational and engineering staff. Translink zero emission vehicles began entry into passenger service in March 2022. The vehicle roll-out will continue, with targeted completion during Summer 2022.
Impacts and Outcomes
- Delivers better transport that is faster, quieter, cleaner and more efficient
- Improved passenger accessibility, safety and comfort
- 33% of Metro vehicles will be zero emission
- Removal of approximately 2288 tons of C02 from Bus Operations per annum.
- Any lessons learned from this project will be disseminated throughout Translink and shared with key industry partners, government, universities and the supply chain
- Translink collaborated with many local businesses on the programme, aiding NI economic growth
Translink hopes for this project to match and help reach the wider environmental targets outlined in its Climate Positive Strategy. These include: delivering at least a 50% reduction in current emissions by 2030; decarbonising its fleet to be Net Zero by 2040; and being Climate Positive by 2040.
The Judges said…
“Translink showed an inspiring example of climate action through driving systems-level change to the benefit of wider society in Northern Ireland.’’