New, smaller buses will soon operate on some routes in the island.
The state-owned and run bus company, Bus Vannin, says operating two minibuses on rural routes will increase efficiency and reduce costs.
Two Mercedes Sprinter City 45 minibuses have arrived at the bus depot at Banks Circus, Douglas.
They seat 17 and can have up to nine passengers standing or space for a pram or wheelchair.
Ian Longworth, director of public transport, said: ‘The minibuses can provide access from the kerb like any other bus so they have a big bus feel but will reduce the cost of us delivering some essential rural services, both in terms of capital costs and operating costs.’
The worst performing double deck bus just out of service on the Isle of Man achieved only 4.85 miles to the gallon while the newer Mercedes single deck vehicles operate at just under nine miles per gallon. The new minibuses should achieve between 18 and 20mpg.
Graham Cregeen MHK, Minister for the Department of Community, Culture and Leisure, which operates the buses, said: ‘We are trying to preserve our rural network in the face of significant budget cuts. My policy is to ensure we minimise our costs before we increase charges to our passengers.’
Driver training and familiarisation is currently taking place after which the minibuses will start operating on some services on rural routes 13, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20 and 29.