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Sapphire Coast Buslines welcomes two electric minibuses to on demand service

Sapphire Coast Buslines will run the two HDrive electric minibuses as part of its Flexibus on demand service

NSW operator Sapphire Coast Buslines has taken delivery of two new electric minibuses that will become a staple of its expanding Flexibus on demand service.

The battery electric minibuses are the first of their make and model in Australia and have now started operating on the south coast’s Flexibus on demand transport service.

Sapphire Coast Buslines recently bought the two 18-seat electric vehicles to run in the Bega Valley Shire and parts of the far south coast.

Transport for NSW (TfNSW) contracts the company to provide on demand services in the area, with around 22,000 passengers trips being made on the services in the 12 months to April this year.

The minibuses will become a prominent sight around Eden, Tura Beach, Merimbula and Pambula with a distinctive blue livery and the words ‘This is a zero emissions bus’ and ‘Breathe easy’.

“We are thrilled to be pioneering the use of electric buses on on demand bus services in rural and regional NSW and we are proud to be the first bus operator in Australia to purchase this type of EV 70 minibus,” Sapphire Coast Buslines managing director Jamie Klemm says.

“Minibuses are important for on demand services as they are small enough to navigate most streets, allowing us to pick up and drop off passengers from locations that are convenient and accessible for them, so being now able to run EV minibuses is a great step forward.

“The introduction of electric buses as part of our fleet is a significant stride towards sustainable transportation practices and aligns with Sapphire Coast Buslines’ commitment to reducing carbon emissions and promoting cleaner air quality in the region.

“Our drivers also love the smoothness of the drive and have commented that they feel like they are steering the future, one quiet revolution at a time!”

People making a booking to use the service can now look forward to the electric battery minibuses that provide a more sustainable option.

The move comes as the NSW government delivers a multi-billion dollar program to transition the state’s 8,000 plus fleet to zero-emissions technology, with the HDrive EV70 vehicles being used for this order.

Coming equipped with ramps, USB chargers, a luggage rack and large windows, comfort and access are key.

Each vehicle has a range of 250km and can be recharged at Sapphire Coast Buslines’ Pambula depot each evening.

“I am pleased to see these two new EV minibuses on the far south coast, enhancing the on demand service and ensuring our regions are increasingly being powered by cleaner, greener transport technology,” NSW regional transport and roads minister Jenny Aitchison says.

“The NSW government is committed to a zero emissions future across NSW as we seek to provide more comfortable journeys and liveable places for our passengers and communities. “This is a vital travel option and those with disabilities make up around 37 per cent of customers and people aged over 60 represent about 58 per cent of customers.

“We know that safe, accessible and reliable transport makes a measurable difference in the lives of many regional people and is a key social determinant of health, opportunity and wellbeing.”

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