Almost £50m is to be spent on improving Northern Ireland's public transport system.
Vehicles would allow the significant increase in low-floor buses
Transport company Translink said the money would be used to buy more than 300 new buses.
The latest investment comes just weeks after a boost for the railways.
The first of 23 new trains, costing a total of £80 million, went into service in recent weeks
The first new "Metro buses" are scheduled to be delivered towards the end of 2005.
They will comply with the latest European Commission emission and noise targets, said the company.
Translink Chairman Dr Joan Smyth said the investment "marks the latest milestone in the regeneration and transformation of Northern Ireland's public transport services".
"We believe this financial support to be largest single investment for buses in the history of Citybus and Ulsterbus," she said.
Translink Chief Executive Keith Moffatt said the new fleet would be the most modern and technologically advanced available.
"Fitted with features like digital CCTV, anti-lock brakes and air-conditioning, these state of the art buses will have a significant impact on the delivery of a modern, safe, high
quality public transport system," he said.
"They will effectively reduce the fleet age and will clearly play a key role in maximising growth in patronage in line with Regional Transportation Strategy targets."
The vehicles would allow the significant increase in low-floor buses to benefit passengers with disabilities, the elderly and parents with children, said Translink.
The General Consumer Council, which represents passengers, said it welcomed the new buses.
The council's Alan Walker said that along with the new trains, it would make public transport a more attractive option.
"However, punctuality is key for passengers and we must ensure that alongside the new vehicles that more bus priority measures, such as bus lanes, are introduced to provide the maximum benefit for passengers," he said.
"Such commitment and investment is vital to encourage more people to use public transport and reach the targets set out in the Regional Transportation Strategy.
"In doing so, bus lanes must be respected by car owners and enforced by government."