In Melbourne, major bus and coach operator Kinetic has provided a special journey for attendees of an AFLW Pride Round game as a colourful electric bus took fans to and from the match.
On Sunday, the electric Pride bus sat out the front of Victoria Park, the home of Collingwood’s AFLW team as they took on Richmond in a Pride round clash.
In front of a sunny Victoria Park and thousands of fans, the Pride bus was part of a collaboration between Kinetic, Joy FM and the AFLW to transport people to and from the game while also spreading the message of pride.
“Our Pride bus in Melbourne is one of our battery electric buses and is the first in Kinetic’s Pride bus fleet to be an electric bus,” a Kinetic spokesperson told ABC.
“The electric bus fleet are Volgren bodies on a BYD chassis and we received this bus in April 2023.”
The bus was first launched in May 2023 to mark the International Day Against Homophobia, Biphobia and Transphobia (IDAHOBIT).
The bus currently operates out of Kinetic’s Heatherton depot, running routes 600, 604, 603, 922 and 923.
As part of the collaboration, the Pride bus allowed winners of a Joy FM competition to be taken to and from Victoria Park in style, but it also did much more than just transport people to and from the game.
“The Pride bus is our way of sending a loud and proud message that everyone is welcome and loved,” the spokesperson says.
“Our Pride buses display a prominent Progress Pride Flag on the side, along with the words ‘You are Loved’. The AFLW Pride Round is all about nurturing a positive and inclusive culture among the players, fans and community, and we’re thrilled to be part of it this year.
“Inclusion is about embracing diversity and putting in the work towards being better allies. Getting involved in community events is one important way that we can do this, so we were eager to collaborate with Joy FM and the AFLW.”
Kinetic now has 11 Pride buses operating in communities across Australia and New Zealand, from the Bowen Basin in central Queensland to Sydney, Hobart and Wellington.
Kinetic says to expect more to pop up in the coming months.
“As a public transport operator, we’re here to serve the community, and that means everyone in the community,” the spokesperson says.
“The Pride bus initiative is about sending a clear and resounding message that safety, respect and acceptance are fundamental rights for everyone.
“We’re received terrific feedback from the community on these buses. People are taking photos and sharing them online, and we’ve received truly heart-warming messages from the LGBTQ+ community about the impact they’ve had.”