Industry input sought on rollout of zero-emission buses in Victoria, Australia
The Victorian Minister for Public Transport has launched a consultation paper seeking industry feedback on how a zero-emission bus transition can slash emissions, improve passenger experiences and create secure jobs in the bus industry.
Victoria, Australia, is one step closer in its drive towards a more sustainable bus fleet with the launch of a new consultation paper to industry to help to support a transition to zero-emission.
All new public transport buses purchased from 2025 onwards will be zero-emission, as part of the Andrews Labor Government’s nation-leading target of achieving net zero by 2045. As part of this process, the Victorian Minister for Public Transport, Ben Carroll, has launched a consultation paper that lays the groundwork for the transition plan that is set to be released in 2024.
“Tackling emissions on our public transport network is critical to Victoria meeting its commitment of net zero emissions by 2045, and we’re seeking feedback from operators, industry and the wider community as we transition to a diesel-free bus fleet,” said Minister for Public Transport, Ben Carroll. “The zero-emission bus transition requires significant change, and we are working with industry on how we use this opportunity to create a stronger industry, boost local manufacturing and improve customer experience.”
The Victoria Minister for Climate Action, Lily D’Ambrosio, added: “Zero-emission buses are a key part of our plan to decarbonise transport and meet Victoria’s world-leading emissions reduction targets of 75-80 percent by 2035 and net zero by 2045.”
Victoria is already leading the way through the Labor Government’s $20 million Zero Emission Bus trial, delivered hand-in-hand with industry to inform the smooth transition of almost 4,500 diesel buses to zero-emission vehicles.
The three-year trial leading up to 2025 invovles six operators across Victoria introducing 52 zero-emission buses into their fleets – 50 electric and two hydrogen – across Melbourne, Traralgon and Seymour. The trial is fostering vital local industry partnerships and supporting local jobs – with energy providers and bus manufacturers – which are critical to achieving an effective transition. The trial has provided evidence about performance, depot charging needs, capacity, infrastructure and energy network requirements, environmental outcomes and customer expectations.
The consultation paper highlights the benefits of the trials with industry and invites their contributions on how a zero-emission bus transition can slash emissions, improve passenger experiences and create secure jobs in the bus industry.
More than 100 hybrid and around 45 zero-emission buses are already operating on public transport routes across Victoria, with operators getting positive feedback from passengers, who are enjoying a quieter and smoother ride. Extra funding was also announced in the 2023-24 Victorian Budget to double the speed of the roll out of zero-emission buses as part of new 10-year metropolitan bus contracts. These contracts cover 30 per cent of the metro network and come up for renewal in 2025.
Creating a greener fleet is also part of Victoria’s Bus Plan to develop a modern and reliable network that attracts more passengers.