[QLD] Wanted: superbuses for SEQ

By: Chris Smith

Companies from around the world will be invited to submit proposals for a trial of high capacity vehicles, also known

Companies from around the world will be invited to submit proposals for a trial of high capacity vehicles, also known as "superbuses", on the TransLink network says Queensland Premier Anna Bligh.

"Fighting traffic congestion is one of my government’s top priorities," she claims.

"One of the best ways to do that is to squeeze every last drop of efficiency out of our public transport networks.

"High capacity vehicles, or 'superbuses', have the potential to significantly increase the carrying capacity of our bus network, particular on Brisbane's popular busway network.

"A request for information will be placed on Wednesday March 26 inviting suitable companies to submit a proposal for a live trial of high capacity buses in Brisbane.

"If more than one company has a vehicle that may meet our needs, we will consider trialling multiple vehicles at the same time.

"For a vehicle to be considered it needs to have a carrying capacity of at least 100 passengers — well in excess of a regular articulated, or banana bus.

"We will be looking for vehicles that can expand the capacity of the current fleet, but that are also value for money.

"If a vehicle, or vehicles, is found through the submission process that meets our requirements we would then undertake a process to get the vehicles built and delivered so that we can conduct a trial in a live environment on a real Brisbane route carrying regular passengers.

"This is the only way to know for sure if the vehicle will meet the needs of TransLink passengers."

The vehicles will most likely be bi-articulated buses with three compartments and an extra axle. Banana buses have two compartments.

A variety of different engine types are possible including hybrid systems and ultra low-sulphur diesel. To be considered a vehicle would need to demonstrate a very high level of environmental performance, especially with regard to emissions reduction technology.

The request for information will be open for six weeks with submissions closing May 9, 2008.

Although no firm decisions will be made until after all submissions have been thoroughly reviewed, trials of suitable vehicles could begin next year.

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