The Optare Solo is a classy fully-accessible minibus, which has started to appear in Ireland in recent years.
I’ve always liked Optare‘s buses, particularly the double-deck Spectra, and it’s a pity they never really caught on.
The Solo minibus is probably their best-selling product, a fully-accessible lowfloor bus, designed from the outset as a bus, and way more stylish than the van-derived minibuses offered by most other manufacturers.
For a long time there were no Solos in the Republic, but they can now be seen in increasing numbers with private operators on shuttle services, or town services outside Dublin (Port Laoise being one example).
Hertz at Dublin Airport have some very smartly liveried Solo buses for their shuttle service (above) while Bewleys Hotel have one in a less impressive livery to bring guests to their door.
I’ve often thought that buses such as these would be the ideal solution for Dublin mountain routes such as the 44B and 161, and they would also be ideally sized for the Palermo service in Bray.
Sadly, Dublin Bus do not seem to see their potential.