MD1 was the first Optare MetroDecker built. It was unveiled on the 21st of May 2014 at the London Transport Museum, Covent garden. It was painted blue and had a Mercedes-Benz euro 6 engine and a ZF gearbox. It also made an appearance at the Euro Bus Expo 2014. It was displayed with the registration OP14ARE, but was not registered.
It later went to Magtec, where it was converted to electric, and was dubbed the MetroDecker EV. It was displayed at the Euro Bus Expo 2016, with its new colour scheme and powertrain. It was eventually registered in mid-2017 as YJ17FXX.
Interestingly, it first went to First York, where it was allocated the fleet number 39500. It was trialled there from August to October 2017. The trial must’ve been somewhat successful, as they went on to order 23, which entered service in early 2020.
On the 9th of January 2018, it debuted in London service with Go-Ahead on route 36 from NX. On the 16th of March that year, it was pictured being collected from NX to return to Optare for upgrades. It returned to service on route 36 for one more day on 23/04/18. The bus remained at NX, but instead worked route 21 from 09/05/18-23/05/18.
On 31/08/2018 MD1 returned to London service once more, this time with Tower Transit. It solely worked route 23 until 22/11/18 when it was withdrawn. This trial must’ve also been quite successful, as a batch of 37 were ordered for the contract renewal of routes 23 and C3.
It did take a break from Tower Transit, as it went to Penryn Campus Environment and Sustainability week, where it worked First Kernow’s U3 Express Service.
It was also photographed at Stagecoach WH on the 13th of December that year.
In August 2019, it was shipped to Jersey where it worked for Libertybus. It was reregistered J142621. It worked their route 15. In January 2020, it was shipped back to Optare.
In February 2020, it then went on to work for Centaur on their University of Greenwich service. It was still working for them in May of the following year. This trial also must’ve been successful, as they ordered a pair of them, CN21FZA/B.
The last photo taken of it was in September 2021, when it was photographed on a trailer. It is still taxed, so is still around somewhere!