VDL Bus & Coach will deliver 53 double deck Futuras FDD2-141 in two phases in 2021 to the National Transport Authority, the organisation responsible for funding and overseeing Public Service Obligation public transport services in Ireland. The coaches will be used on regional and commuter bus services and are therefore built to a bespoke public transport specification. The Futuras FDD2-141 for the NTA are built to a bespoke public transport specification. For their intended use, it is important to ensure that dwell times at bus stops are minimised, hence the vehicles are outfitted with two passenger doorways and two stairs. In addition, their greater overall height of 4.17 metres enables the ceiling heights on both the lower and upper decks to be a more generous 1.82 metres. These features, in combination with the completely flat floor of the lower deck, significantly increase the freedom of movement, which benefits the process of boarding and alighting. Furthermore, the flat floor and the wide single-leaf centre passenger doorway (which is fitted with a wheelchair ramp) ensure that passengers with reduced mobility can easily enter and exit the Futura FDD2-141. “Our customers use specific and complex systems for public transport deployment,” explains Pieter Gerdingh, Business Manager Coach. “For the NTA, too, we have ensured that all the necessary systems, such as a CCTV camera system, payment system and route indicators, have been fitted in the vehicles as turnkey solutions. This contributes to a smooth implementation of the VDL Futura within their operation.”Fuel-efficient DAF MX-11 engine The Futura range is known for its low operating costs. This is partly due to its low vehicle weight and efficient powertrain. The FDD2-141 vehicles for the NTA are equipped with a powerful and economical DAF MX11 engine with a power output of 330 kW/450 hp and a torque of 2,300 Nm. The engine is combined with a 12-speed automated ZF Traxon gearbox. The driveline is equipped with Predictive Powertrain Control (PPC), which takes into account altitude differences and adapts the shifting strategy accordingly, with the aim of saving fuel.Successful VDL Bus & Coach has enjoyed success with the Futura in public transport settings for a number of years. Every day, hundreds of Futuras are used for public transport purposes. The Futura FHD2 and FMD2 are used in various operations in Ireland, France and Scandinavia, for example, and the double-decker Futura FDD2 is used in the Netherlands, Italy, France and Germany. In this way, passengers are comfortably brought to their destinations throughout Europe by means of high-quality public transport by coach. At the end of 2020, VDL Bus & Coach announced that it would be making its debut in public and intercity transport in Iceland with 5 Futuras FMD2-148.