BUSWAYS RECEIVES FIRST HALF OF LOW-FLOOR, SEATBELTED BUS ORDER

Photography by: courtesy Volgren


VOLGREN AND VOLVO have supplied New South Wales bus operator Busways with the first 12 of an order of 24 new low-floor, seatbelt-compliant school buses - strengthening its rural and regional school bus fleet, says Volgren.

BUSWAYS RECEIVES FIRST HALF OF LOW-FLOOR, SEATBELTED BUS ORDER
"There has been a lot of interest in Volgren’s new seatbelted product," said John Allen, Volgren’s NSW major account manager.

The order was made late 2018 and will see the Volgren-bodied, Volvo B8 Euro 5-chassis buses used for Busways route and school services operating across Port Macquarie, Coffs Harbour and Yamba on the NSW North Coast.

Busways asset manager Chris Wolf says the new buses reinforce the company’s commitment to passenger safety and innovation across their fleet. 

"The vehicles being delivered are replacing our older buses and, although they’re still operating and in good condition, the modern advancement and the new safety systems Volvo offer – including ABS, EBS and on-board warning systems – helps improve the overall standard of buses," he said.

"Volgren have also modernised their buses with great placement of driver’s mirrors, enhanced line of sight for drivers, minimised blind spots, and compliance to Australian Design Rules 68 seatbelted vehicles."

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Wolf says Transport for New South Wales has put into place rigid specifications for buses travelling in rural and regional contract areas, which means operators weren’t looking for a product they could customise, but for a vehicle they could rely on. 

"We have a strong track record with Volgren and Volvo; that’s based around a shared confidence that one party can always expect value from the other and the fact they support their product over the life of the vehicle."  

"Some buses can achieve up to 2 million kilometres during their life (25 years), so we need a trustworthy supplier. To be successful as an operator in Australia you need quality products that will last the distance, and both Volgren and Volvo can deliver this."

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SEATBELT INTEREST 

John Allen, Volgren’s major account manager for New South Wales, says there has been a lot of interest in Volgren’s new seatbelted product, especially since Sapphire Coast Buslines became the first operator to take delivery of the product in May this year.

"The low-floor format really is the best solution out there for rural and regional operations. "Operators are talking about meeting the increased need for capacity and ease of access – this vehicle delivers on both counts; it’s safe, comfortable and has a spacious feel about it."

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Allen says as operators start to take vehicles off the road for retrofitting there’s a lot more focus on fleet management and making sure current vehicles are kept running.

"Reducing downtime is vital. Most of the bus operators have had their spare bus ratios cut back, so it’s paramount that vehicles are on the road." Allen said.

The new Australian Design Rules-compliant seatbelted school buses were built at Volgren’s manufacturing facility at Dandenong in Victoria.

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