Bus Industry News, Electric Buses

Regional NSW onboard with zero-emissions bus transition

TfNSW surveys suggest both customers and operators feel positive about the sustainable transition

Transport for NSW (TfNSW) says it has found bus and coach operators, as well as customers in regional and outer metropolitan NSW, are on board with plans to move to greener energy options for public transport, including zero-emissions buses.

The NSW government plans to transition the state’s 8000 plus public transport buses and coaches to zero emission technology. This includes more than 4000 buses in Greater Sydney by 2035, more than 1000 buses in outer metropolitan areas by 2040 and more than 3000 buses in regional NSW by 2047.

Executive Director Transport Partnerships at Transport for NSW Holly Taylor says Transport for NSW commissioned a survey of 600 people across regional and outer metropolitan NSW, revealing a clear desire for more sustainable travel options. 

“Sixty-two per cent said taking a zero emission bus would make them feel like they were making a positive contribution to the environment,” Taylor says.

“Transport’s transition to zero emission buses is key to achieving the NSW government’s target of a 50 per cent carbon emissions reduction by 2030 and net zero emissions by 2050. 

“By 2047, when the entire NSW bus fleet has fully transitioned, our carbon emissions are estimated to be reduced by half a million tonnes a year. 

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“We also asked the community about attitudes towards other greener transport options and almost six in 10 respondents said they were more likely to use public transport if it was powered by renewables.”

Taylor says the survey also revealed people from regional NSW placed a greater importance on environmental sustainability than the rest of Australia.

“Almost two thirds (59 per cent) indicated sustainability is a priority for them compared with just over one third (39 per cent) of Australians,” she says.

TfNSW says zero-emissions buses will also deliver smoother and more comfortable journeys for bus passengers and have less impact on communities and town centres due to significantly quieter operations.

Transport for NSW also conducted a survey of close to 300 regional and outer metropolitan bus and coach operators on the NSW government’s Zero Emission Buses (ZEB) Transition plan.

Almost 80 per cent were positive or neutral about the transition towards a zero emissions future, while also asking for more information about how to address some of the challenges.

Taylor says the upcoming $25 million series of ZEB trials in regional NSW later this year would help answer some of the questions operators have about the transition.

“Transport is assessing expressions of interest submissions from operators and industry wanting to take part in the trials, which will test different zero emission buses and coaches in a range of environments across the regions,” she says.

The trials will be conducted using different battery electric and hydrogen fuel cell zero emission bus technologies.

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