Stagecoach North West Optare Versa interior
|Body and chassis|
|Doors||1 or 2|
|Floor type||Low floor|
|Predecessor||East Lancs Myllennium|
The Optare Versa was designed the midibus to fill a gap in its bus product range between the full size single deck Tempo and the smaller Solo minibus. Some operators of the longest of Optare's minibus-derived Solo models commented that the 7.0m wheelbase was too long, reducing manoeuvrability, which resulted from the Solo's front axle being ahead of the passenger entrance. It was officially launched at the Euro Bus Expo 2006 at the National Exhibition Centre, Birmingham in November 2006, with the first order of 25 buses being placed by Stagecoach.
The Versa, with its entrance ahead of the front axle, considerably reduces the wheelbase, to either 5.13m or 5.82m (depending upon whether the overall length is 10.3m or 11m respectively). It is designed to seat between 36 and 40 passengers. The Versa has a typical Optare design, with a swooping roof line, large glazed area and swept-back front which takes many of its styling cues from the Solo, but with a more modern, updated appearance.
Hybrid electric version
In 2010, a hybrid electric version was introduced with the first ordered by Travel de Courcey. Transport for Greater Manchester ordered 68, 20 of them were introduced on the First Greater Manchester operated Metroshuttle routes in November 2010, while others were operated by Maytree Travel.
In 2014, an electric version was introduced with First York purchasing 12 for its York Park & Ride services. Transport for Greater Manchester introduced three on its Metroshuttle services.
The first Optare Versas entered service in October 2007 with Arriva Shires & Essex. Arrva, FirstGroup, Go-Ahead Group, Rotala, Stagecoach Group and Transdev Blazefield have all been purchasers. It has been operated by Transport for London operators East London, London United, NSL Buses, Quality Line and Selkent.
- Optare Versa Bus Lists on the Web
- Stylish new bus from Optare Bus & Coach Professional 1 November 2006
- Stagecoach places £9m order for 100 new buses Stagecoach Group 7 November 2006
- Stagecoach orders 100 from Optare Bus & Coach Professional 15 November 2006
- Electric order for Coventry Bus & Coach Professional 11 November 2010
- Freedom of the city with Manchester Metroshuttle 2 November 2010
- Manchester 9 million hybrid school fleet Bus & Coach Professional 26 April 2012
- Electric Versas for York - First operating six Optare Versa EVs on new Park and Ride Bus & Coach Buyer 20 June 2014
- More Versa EVs for York P+R Bus & Coach Buyer 26 May 2015
- More electric Versas for York Optare 19 May 2015
- Free city centre Metroshuttle goes electric Optare 31 July 2014
- Electric Versas for Manchester Bus & Coach Professional 7 August 2014
- First Versas for Arriva Bus & Coach Professional 4 January 2008
- Reesby Buses Australian Bus Fleet Lists
- Versa makes savings in New Zealand Bus & Coach Buyer 8 August 2013
Media related to Optare Versa at Wikimedia Commons