The buses will operate between London and Windsor, and are due for delivery in June 2019, ahead of the introduction of London’s ultra low emission zone (ULEZ).
The operator worked with Optare on the specification, which includes coach-style seats with headrests, wood laminate flooring, at-seat USB charging points, mobile phone holders and 4G wifi.
It is the operator’s second order from Optare in recent years after a long break, and follows four Optare Solo vehicles which went into service at the end of 2016 and have proved “very successful”.
The Metrodecker order follows positive performance from a pre-production demonstrator, as John Bickerton, head of engineering and innovation at Reading Buses, explains: “Two years ago, we put the Metrodecker through its paces for its first ever in-service ‘shakedown’ trial, but what is most impressive is that two years on the demonstrator vehicle currently in service with us is still giving great performance, class-leading fuel economy, demonstrating a very robust build quality and is getting great feedback from drivers and customers alike.
“With Optare’s recent further investment in after-sales support, and a can-do attitude in working to meet our bespoke specification, the Metrodecker is clearly the bus for us.”