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The Optare MetroRider was a midibus built by Optare between 1989 and 2000. Optare based the original design on the MCW Metrorider after Optare bought the rights following a decision by MCW to end bus production. This model also replaced the less successful StarRider.

The MetroRider was an integral bus, which means the chassis and body were constructed as a single structure. It had many options, and was available in three lengths and two widths. In addition, Optare offered the option of a protruding, more substantial, destination display (blind-box), as opposed to the flat on the body destination display.

In later years, the MetroRider could be ordered with a one-piece rather than a standard two-piece windscreen which, in turn, became standard.

Among the most popular version was the basic model, with short length, standard door and no blind-box.

These buses are widely dispersed across the UKmarker and were, for example, popular with some independent operators in rural settings such as Emsworth and District and Compass Bus in Worthing, the latter operating the last ever MetroRider (W426 CWX), from April 2000. In its prime, the MetroRider was also sold abroad in kit form, in countries such as Malaysiamarker.

Now there are a large number of MetroRiders operated by Arriva North East and are operated on long distance services such as the 723 between Durham and Darlington, the 242 between Durham and Hartlepool and the 230 between Sunderland and Hartlepool.

The successor of the MetroRider is the low-floor Optare Solo.

Electric version

Electric Optare MetroRider in Oxford.

An electric version of the MetroRider was produced in 1993. The transport authority placed four vehicles into service on a city centre circular service in Oxfordmarker. They were operated initially by the Oxford Bus Company but later briefly passed to Stagecoach Group before withdrawal owing to a cessation of subsidy. They were later used on Jerseymarker and Islaymarker [293017].

Natural gas version

Two MetroRiders were produced for Stagecoach Cambus in Cambridge, powered by a dedicated CNG engine developed by Cummins.


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