Trolley buses to go

Wellington is set to replace ageing trolley buses with electric vehicles over the coming years

Greater Wellington Regional Council will use hybrid vehicles as an interim measure to upgrade the city’s trolley buses to an electric fleet.

That’s one of the recommendations of the Council’s Annual Plan hearings committee which has concluded deliberations on the hearing of public submissions on the Regional Public Transport Plan.

 Public Transport Portfolio Leader Paul Swain says the Public Transport Plan is a step change for the region.

The plan includes faster and more frequent train services, integrated fares where people use one card for all public transport services and improved bus networks with faster trips particularly through the Wellington CBD in lower emission vehicles.

"It will prepare us for a new era aimed at getting more people out of cars and onto public transport," says Swain.

"We believe hybrids are the best technology for use during the transition to electric buses which are still some way off.

"Hybrid buses will increase the reliability and flexibility of our bus network, while reducing emissions and improving the environment in places with high congestion, like Wellington’s Golden Mile."

Council’s plan is to start replacing the oldest diesel buses with modern hybrid buses as the buses come up to the end of their contracted life and will be working with bus operators to achieve a smooth transition.

The plan is to phase out the trolley buses in 2017 due to their high cost, lack of reliability and flexibility, and replace them with the latest hybrid technology available at the time.

"We are once again showing national leadership by signalling the move to a modern reliable low emission bus fleet that will attract more people on to public transport."

The plan will go to the full Council on June 26 for adoption.

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