How bus networks hold the key to Victoria’s electric transition


A University of Melbourne researcher has suggested ways to improve Melbourne’s bus network to increase its electric bus transition

How bus networks hold the key to Victoria’s electric transition
The University of Melbourne has an idea to better transition the city's bus network to electric models

The University of Melbourne is suggesting implementing better bus networks in fairer suburbs as a way for the transport industry to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

Dr John Stone says despite the incentive for driving electric cars, finding ways to drive less is the best way of meeting climate targets.

A key method to providing alternatives to driving in Melbourne is by addressing the city’s bus system.

Stone says the University of Melbourne recently completed its Better Buses for Melbourne’s West and Melbourne’s Zero Emission Bus Transition studies to show how it can transition to clean electric buses operating on a fast and connected network.

Stone says the Victorian government’s Zero Emission Vehicle Roadmap is a step in the right direction, but wants to build on the zero-emissions bus trial and charging infrastructure plans.


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With the government committing to 341 new electric buses to be in service by 2030, Stone says this isn’t enough, as it is less than 20 per cent of Melbourne’s current route-bus fleet.

Stone says strong government leadership is needed for this escalation, as now is the time to make an informed call on buying power and technical infrastructure required for an increased electric bus fleet.

Yet Stone says the current model, where 28 separate contracts with 14 private operators run Melbourne’s bus network, isn’t able to accommodate the electric bus transition.

Stone says the 2025 deadline for a lot of these contracts is the right time to find new ways to manage the transition, as technology proves there are techniques to transition efficiently and effectively if the state government is willing.

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