By: Fabian Cotter

A MAJOR BUS ORDER from Transport Canberra (TC) means Volgren has added 45 new workers to its Eagle Farm manufacturing facility in Brisbane, as the massive Australian-based bus-body manufacturer grows its production volumes to suit, the company announced recently. Volgren won the TC contract late 2017.

Transport Canberra's recent order has enabled Volgren's intake of new workers in Brisbane.

This is in addition to the 60 buses it will deliver to Brisbane City Council in 2018 as part of their long-running prime contractor agreement.

Peter Dale, CEO of Volgren, said staff in Brisbane are busy working on the first of 20 low-floor rigid and 10 articulated city buses to be delivered to the national capital by the end of September.

"Queensland is an important part of our manufacturing capability and we’re proud that the facility is now producing buses not just for Brisbane, but for a critical market in the ACT. It’s exciting to see two full production lines running in Eagle Farm."

"Across our three manufacturing sites in Melbourne, Perth and Brisbane we have the flexibility and expertise to comfortably satisfy high delivery demands from operators all around the country. As these requirements increase, our lean manufacturing systems allow us to bring on new team members and quickly make sure that supply meets demand."

Related: Volgren’s Triumph

Dale said the 45 highly skilled trades based workers, represented an investment of around $4M into the local job market.

 "For more than a decade we’ve partnered with Brisbane City Council as Prime Contractor. These are buses made by Queenslanders for Queenslanders and that market is extremely important for our business. We’re delighted to be creating new jobs and investing back into the state’s labour market."

This is the first time Volgren has manufactured articulated combos on a large scale.  The vehicle is specifically designed to find the happy medium between passenger comfort and low-floor convenience. 

 "We secured strong interest from Transport Canberra off the back of our first demonstration model, which we built early last year. The design of the new combo features both low and standard floors, giving the bus greater seating capacity, but also making it accessible to prams, wheelchairs and less mobile passengers," Dale said.

Dale is hopeful more articulated combos and low-floor route buses will be built in Brisbane, providing longer-term employment opportunities for staff.

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