History of First 19000 (S90 FTR)
This vehicle was the prototype FTR bus or ‘Street Car’ and was new in 2005. Being registered YK06 CZN in 2006. The FTR concept was made up of a bundle of simultaneously introduced innovations relating to the vehicle type, its configuration, the fare collection arrangements, consequent changes to infrastructure, and an integrated data-handling system for voice radio, vehicle location, real-time passenger information, on-board displays, vehicle diagnostics, and ticket machine data.
Each 'StreetCar' vehicle had a separate driver (or "pilot") compartment, resembling to some extent similar designs in continental Europe. Otherwise the vehicle itself was a modified conventional bus, with styling similar to contemporary trams and trolleybuses and a greater distance between axles to maximise the low-floor area for easily accessible seating. The vehicles were air-conditioned and had tinted windows to enhance the on-board ambience along with ergonomic seating. On-board information was provided using an "infotainment" screen which displayed the next FTR stop and information related to that stop including local attractions/facilities and connecting bus/train routes. The screen also displayed advertisements for local businesses. Some of this technology is common place on the buses of today.
This vehicle was used as a demonstrator and was trialled in Leeds, York, Plymouth, Edinburgh and Rotherham at the now closed Midland Road depot. Deemed unsuitable for most places, the vehicle would eventually end up with First York where the rest of the first batch were running. Leeds also received some ‘StreetCars’. By 2010, this vehicle was operating on the newly opened Swansea FTR routes and reregistered S90 FTR. In late August 2015, the Swansea FTR vehicles were withdrawn meaning the end of the FTR operation in the UK.
This vehicle was bought for preservation and after
a period of being stored, it was placed on long term loan to the SYTT, arriving
on site in the summer of 2020.