Optare Solo Design

Vehicle and Fleet discussions for First Midland Red Buses Limited or its predecessor, Midland Red West Limited.
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Optare Solo Design

Post by Matt » 08:42 Tuesday 13th November 2018

I happen to be getting a bus to the hospital today and so I'm on one of the Worcester solos.

It's a long time since I've used one and I happened to look at the design. It's a clever bit of design in terms of several things.
- Being wheel forward so the front wheels don't encroach into the seating area on the low floor section.
- Because of the extra space forward of the door the driver cabin is quite tucked away so then the wheelchair space is very easy, almost straight diagonal from the door.
- It seems as though it has very good loading considering it's length, ideal for local routes on narrower residential streets.

At the time I remeber it was innovative as the first low floor small bus.

I imagine it was quite pivotal in keeping Optaire going and can see why it was such a popular choice.

How do drivers find them though, do you mind being tucked away and what are they like to drive?

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Re: Optare Solo Design

Post by asb » 22:35 Tuesday 13th November 2018

I find them not great from an interaction point of view - it is not as natural a position to look at the passengers as they board. The same as with any wheels forward minibus though.

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Re: Optare Solo Design

Post by AdamH » 07:08 Wednesday 14th November 2018

They were terribly unreliable when they first came out. I think they were under-developed and rushed to market. I seem to remember at the time First said they were not going to buy any for this reason, but they were popular with local authorities as there wasn’t much else available that offered DDA specification in a minibus package.

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