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TasBus steers towards sustainability through Metro Tasmania

TasBus is looking towards operators like Metro Tasmania for the next phase of Tasmania’s public transport

As the Tasmanian bus industry begins to take strides towards modernisation, operator Metro Tasmania is leading the charge by embracing the idea of sustainable transport.

Metro Tasmania is gearing up to launch its zero-emissions bus trial in partnership with Renewables, Climate and Future Industries Tasmania (ReCFIT) as the operator looks towards an electric future.

The operator says this move is a nod to its commitment to keeping Tasmanians moving while also taking a proactive response to the state government’s net zero emissions plan from 2030 onwards.

Set to be launched in Launceston by the end of the year, the project will see four battery-electric buses operating on Metro routes for two years. The trial will then be followed by three hydrogen fuel-cell electric buses being released in Hobart in 2024 for three years.

“Awareness is a precursor to change, and both Metro and the Tasmanian government recognise the significant of the transport sector’s carbon footprint,” Metro Tasmania told ABC.

“Around 21 per cent of the state’s greenhouse gas emissions, excluding those from land use and forestry, are attributed to transport.

“This trial is a structured approach to gather comprehensive operational insights, with findings that will be instrumental in informing Metro’s potential transition of our wider fleet to zero-emissions vehicles.”

The project team’s efforts were recently acknowledged at the Australian Institute of Project Management (AIPM – Tasmanian Chapter) awards night, where they were honoured with both the Sustainable Project and Project of the Year accolades.

Metro says such recognition only amplifies its commitment to champion a sustainable public transport future for Tasmania.

“This strategic initiative allows us to assess both electric and hydrogen technologies for Tasmania’s environment and our customer needs,” Metro Tasmania says.

“Funding these trials to better understand the technology’s potential and to reduce emissions is a sensible and obvious step to take.”

The battery electric buses that will be used in the Launceston trial come courtesy of Custom Denning and its Element 2 battery electric bus models. Custom Denning will partner with Cromarty, who will install and set up the charging infrastructure at Metro’s Launceston bus depot.

For the hydrogen fuel bus trial, Foton Mobility will provide the three buses, with H2H Energy overseeing the establishment of a rapid hydrogen refuelling system at Metro’s Mornington satellite yard. H2H Energy will partner with a number of Tasmanian businesses to deliver the refuelling system.

“We are on the cusp of a transformative phase in Tasmania’s public transport landscape,” TasBus general manager Steve Henty told ABC.

“As the first zero-emissions buses prepare to hit Launceston’s roads, we remain committed to playing an active part in Tasmania’s sustainable transport future.”

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