The Deputy is aware that Project Ireland 2040 commits to ending the purchase of diesel-only buses from July 2019 for all our urban bus fleets. This is an important commitment and one which we all are looking forward to commencing as part of this year’s PSO bus purchase programme by the National Transport Authority (NTA).
In support of that change a comprehensive series of low-emission bus trials is currently underway in Dublin and Cork, funded through my Department’s Green Public Transport Fund and with support from multiple agencies including the NTA, Dublin Bus and Bus Éireann.
It is expected that the trials will conclude in April 2019; a final report will be produced which will further inform the best lower-emission option - or options - for our PSO services in the GDA and in the regional cities in the years ahead.
In addition to this, a number of double-deck diesel-electric hybrid buses are due to be delivered shortly to Dublin Bus for a trial which will allow for a comparison of various manufacturers’ offerings.
Complementing these trials, the NTA will soon commence a tender process for the purchase of diesel-electric hybrid buses as part of next year’s bus purchase programme. This new contract will be in place during the second half of this year but the exact date of delivery of the new hybrid vehicles will only be confirmed subsequent to the appointment of the successful tenderer.
In light of the NTA's statutory responsibilities on the matter, I have referred the Deputy's question to it for a more detailed reply. Please advise my Office if you do not receive a reply within 10 days.