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CANBERRA ZERO-EMISSIONS BUS TENDER UNDERWAY: 90 UNITS

TRANSPORT CANBERRA’S aging bus fleet has taken a ‘major step forward’ in its transition to a zero-emissions future with 90 electric buses sought in a longer term procurement process currently open.

Following on from a market-sounding exercise conducted last year, Transport Canberra (TC) is inviting parties to register for procurement by 8 March, 2022, via www.tenders.act.gov.au. Post registration process, respondents will be invited to participate in the request for proposal activity, it explains.

This next tranche of electric buses follows its current low- to zero-emission bus initiatives, of which Yutong’s local distributor Vehicle Dealers International and Western Sydney-based Custom Denning – fresh from its $70 million NSW e-bus contract win – are key to Canberra’s initial e-bus fleet.

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PREFERRED SUPPLIERS

According to TC, the first electric buses are on their way from its ‘current preferred suppliers’, which it identifies as VDI Australia and Custom Bus Group, to lease the ACT’s first twelve electric buses. This includes two different technology types by two different manufacturers, so TC can, “…understand exactly how different vehicles perform in the local Canberra environment,” it explains.

“These buses will operate from the Tuggeranong and Belconnen bus depots and will be part of the Transport Canberra fleet by the end of 2022.

“Negotiations with the ‘current preferred suppliers’ remain ongoing and a further announcement will be made once contract negotiations are finalised,” the operator confirms.

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LOWER-EMISSSION DIESELS

While TC works on the infrastructure to house and charge more electric buses, it will lease a further 26 lower-emissions and accessible diesel buses, it explains.

“We’ve identified our ‘current preferred supplier’ as Scania Australia for the lease of these buses,” it states.

“By leasing the new lower-emission buses, we can meet the operational needs of our public transport network without purchasing more diesel buses that would remain in the fleet for another 20 years.

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“The removal of this old fleet will also mean that every Transport Canberra bus and light-rail service will be accessible for Canberrans using a wheelchair / walking aid, or travelling with prams – a great boost for accessibility and equity.

“These new buses will also be smoother and quieter, providing more comfortable journeys,” it adds.

Negotiations with Scania Australia remain ongoing, it confirms.

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