Cities in action: Edinburgh's energy efficient buses

  • environment
  • mobility

Our latest 'cities in action' case study explores Edinburgh's Auld but not Reekie initiative, designed to reduce pollution from energy use on Edinburgh's public bus network.

As part of an ongoing strategy to reduce pollution in Edinburgh and its surrounding districts, the municipal bus company, Lothian Buses, has invested substantially in measures to decrease the environmental impact of its fleet. These measures should contribute to the City of Edinburgh Council's goals to cut carbon emissions by 42% by 2020. 

Lothian Buses is the UK's largest municipal-owned bus company, operating a fleet of over 700 buses, which in 2014 carried 118,400,000 passengers. 

The measures implemented include introducing a hybrid bus fleet, powered by a combination of battery and diesel, which runs more efficiently, smoothly and quietly than traditional engines. Lothian Buses is also pioneering the use of selective catalytic reduction technology (SCRT) to reduce exhaust emissions from older buses. And it is making bus travel more appealing for car drivers, by installing features such as on board WiFi and executive bus design. 

It all seems to have paid off, with Edinburgh recording a 10-13% rise in passenger numbers on the new hybrid bus routes, and 90% of passengers expressing their satisfaction with the new buses. 

Volvo has described Lothian Buses as "probably the most forward looking bus company on the globe". You can find out why in our latest case study, available at the link below.