Volgren rolls out red carpet for bus 5000

It's a day to celebrate as Volgren rolled out its 5,000th bus at Dandenong this morning, handing a new low-floor unit to Dysons with Transport Minister Martin Pakula doing the honours

Volgren rolls out red carpet for bus 5000
Volgren rolls out red carpet for bus 5000

By Nicole Holyer and David Goeldner | October 15, 2010

Volgren rolled its 5,000th bus out of the company’s Dandenong factory this morning with Victoria’s Public Transport Minister Martin Pakula handing the keys of the latest vehicle – a Scania low floor – to Melbourne operator Dysons.

The new low floor will integrate into Dysons’ fleet and work expanded route services in Melbourne’s outer northern suburbs.

The hand-over was attended by senior representatives from the bus and coach industry, and hails Volgren as Australia’s leading bus builder with its 700th unit for the year planned for delivery by December.

The entire Dandenong factory workforce also attended the landmark occasion.

Volgren Managing Director Peter Dale says Volgren has made on average two buses every day through 2010, and the 700 buses produced in one year will be an annual record for the company.

Dale says despite a dark cloud of financial uncertainty over the past few years, Volgren has continued to invest in Australian jobs and manufacturing with great success.

He says the biggest growth markets in 2010 were in Brisbane and Sydney.

"Brisbane and Sydney have experienced unprecedented growth in the number of vehicles manufactured and we are hoping to see that replicated in Melbourne," Dale says.

The vehicle delivered this morning was number 3,100 manufactured at Volgren’s Dandenong factory with 1,900 buses built at other plants across Australia.

The first Volgren bus was manufactured in 1977 and was at the ceremony alongside bus 5000.

Pakula said in his speech at the launch bus patronage had boomed in Melbourne.

While Melbourne’s population has risen to almost 2 percent in the past two years, Pakula says bus patronage had risen to almost 9 percent, representing the highest growth in public support for bus travel for more than 40 years.

"Buses are an equal partner in delivering public transport in this state," Pakula says.

"In the eyes of some people buses are the poor cousins of public transport – I am very keen to overcome that perception."

Pakula would not put a figure to the number of buses the Victorian Government would fund after the state’s November election, but indicated more announcements would be made soon.

He did however say that the Brumby Government would continue to expand the local bus network.

"We’ve recently completed a series of bus reviews which includes extensive community feedback and detailed technical analysis of every bus route in Melbourne," Pakula says.

"This will help inform how we continue to improve the bus network in coming years."

He adds that since Victoria’s Transport Ministry began reviewing Melbourne’s bus network there had been more than 200 bus improvements introduced, longer operating hours, route extensions to growth suburbs, and new routes with more frequent services providing an extra 20,000 bus services each week.

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