Transit Systems joins Victorian zero emission bus trial

The group will continue its move into zero emission buses globally

Transit Systems joins Victorian zero emission bus trial
Transit Systems Victoria GM John Storms (left) with Victorian public transport minister Ben Carroll (right)

Transit Systems Victoria will welcome two Australian-built hydrogen fuel cell buses to its fleet as part of the Victorian government’s three-year zero emissions bus trial.

Transit is part of Australian integrated marine, tourism and transport company Kelsian Group.

While this is a first for Victoria, Transit Systems has successfully operated 10 hydrogen fuel cell buses in London, with Transit Systems chief operating officer Greg Balkin saying they have helped pave the way for a diesel-free bus fleet in Australia.

"We believe it is our commitment to innovation and collaboration with industry stakeholders and government partners that has driven the technology forward into operational delivery – bringing zero emission outcomes to the public transport network today," Balkin says.

These two hydrogen fuel cell buses are expected to operate from March 2023 and will be deployed across 26 regular services in the western suburbs of Melbourne including Melbourne University, Royal Melbourne Hospital and several shopping centres, as well as 15 school services.

They will be refuelled at Transit Systems’ West Footscray depot.

Balkin says more than 1,000 customers will experience hydrogen fuel cell buses each week.

"Medium to large scale hydrogen fuel cell bus deployments can be fully refuelled in around 8-10 minutes, compared to battery electric buses, which can take 3-5 hours charging at the depot," he says.

"We commend the Victorian government on their commitment to delivering more sustainable public transport and look forward to further collaboration with the department of transport to share innovations and learnings from this trial."

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The Victorian zero emission bus trial is part of Transit Systems’ extensive global experience in delivering more sustainable transport solutions, including being part of Australia’s largest zero emission bus (ZEB) deployment, as well as the subsequent successful rollout of permanent electric fleet services.

"Transit Systems has a global and local commitment to explore and deliver innovative and sustainable practices, which will benefit our customers, clients, communities and the environment," Balkin says.

"This includes Transit Systems boasting a fleet of 55 battery electric buses in Australia, and 13 electric buses in Singapore."

Green initiatives by the group also extend to pursuing solar options for depots, utilising driver telematics and collision avoidance and R&D investment in hydrogen and electric vessel projects.

"Transit Systems is proud to partner in another cutting-edge pilot project and we are confident that these trials will effectively demonstrate the performance of the technology and accelerate the deployment of more zero emission buses," Balkin says.

"The outcomes will transform the Melbourne public bus transport network into a smoother, quieter, and cleaner ride for our customers, the wider community and the industry."

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