26 September 2023

First electric bus switches to Canberra

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The ACT’s first permanent electric bus has hit the road with passengers promised a quieter and more comfortable journey.

Celebrating the milestone, Minister for Transport, Chris Steel said that while the ACT was leading the nation on climate action there was still work to do to deliver a 100 per cent accessible public transport network.

“This is just the start of our program that will see Canberra eventually move to a completely zero emissions public transport network that is powered by 100 per cent renewable electricity by 2040 or earlier,” Mr Steel said.

“It means we’re on the right path to deliver the world class public transport network Canberrans deserve, with a mass-transit system in light rail linking north and south of our city, integrated with zero-emissions buses to the suburbs,” he said.

“Part of our Zero-Emission Plan for Transport Canberra is to replace our fleet of older buses with the latest technology that is accessible for all people in our community who need these services.”

Mr Steel said supply chain issues had disrupted the arrival of 26 leased low-emissions diesel buses, which were expected for delivery by the end of 2022.

He said the leased Scania low-emissions buses, combined with the delivery of the new battery electric buses, were intended to ensure Canberra’s bus services were compliant with accessibility requirements in the short term while Government purchased 90 electric buses.

“The delay in the delivery of the 26 low-emissions diesel buses means that a small number of old non-accessible diesel Renault buses can’t be completely phased out of our fleet immediately,” the Minister said.

“Fully compliant low-emissions diesel buses are now expected to be delivered throughout the first half of this year, which will replace the remaining Renault buses progressively over the first half of this year,” he said.

“While a total of 93 per cent of our city’s buses are already compliant with disability access requirements set out under the Disability Discrimination Act (DDA), unfortunately the old orange Renault diesel buses will continue to be used on the bus network for a short period to maintain services for the community until the replacement buses arrive.”

Mr Steel encouraged people to use Transport Canberra’s journey planner and NXTBUS to identify the type of bus running on that service and whether it was compliant with the DDA standards.

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