Budget 2019: 84 new buses

Started by Barry Drive, June 05, 2019, 10:14:31 AM

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Barry Drive

Based on the Budget details released yesterday, the plan now seems to be 84 new buses between now and June 2023.

Quote from: Budget PapersThe Government will purchase 84 modern and fuel-efficient buses to improve accessibility and passenger comfort, increase reliability and lower maintenance costs on the new public transport network. The new buses will be added to the fleet on a rolling basis so that the ACT retains the flexibility to transition to emerging types of low-emissions vehicles if these become viable in the near future.

While exact details are not available, it looks like 12 buses between Jan and Jun 2020, then 12 every six months. Given the wording, electric buses are not yet viable, so the first 12 (at least) will have to be diesels. Also Woden Depot is now listed for completion by June 2020.

These 84 buses will need to replace the remaining 76 Renaults which have to be removed from service by December 2022. Which suggests no further fleet expansion until January 2023 and that no Renaults will return to service, except as replacements.

Barry Drive

It's also possible that once the Renaults are withdrawn, the Irisbuses will follow immediately afterwards.

It sounds like the plan is to have a series of contracts based on what may be available at the time. (For instance Scania's hybrid K320 may become available in a year.)

But the immediate question is: what will the next 12 buses be? Even though it is a new tender, ACTION do seem to stick with what they know.


After today's media splurges concerning emissions reduction and associated matters, the Government is facing considerable embarrassment if the next new buses are not fully electric.

Barry Drive

I'm not so sure.

Woden Depot which is being built to include electric charging won't be ready until mid-2020 (at the earliest). And there is no funding to upgrade the other two depots in the interim.

The goal is zero emissions by 2040. That will allow for diesel (or hybrid diesel) buses to be bought in 2020 and used until 2039.

Edit: it will also allow diesel buses to be leased after 2020 so long as the lease expires by 2039.


Quote from: Barry Drive on September 18, 2019, 10:49:09 AMThe goal is zero emissions by 2040. That will allow for diesel (or hybrid diesel) buses to be bought in 2020 and used until 2039.

Agreed. I was not saying new buses would be electric.

Expanding on the point I made - in the eyes of the general public, fine distinctions like lease, hybrid, life expiry before 2040, will be largely seen as a failure to follow through and set an example, thus an embarrassment for the Government.

Barry Drive

An article in The RiotAct about the Yutong trial bus states that Woden Depot is now expected to be "online by 2021".

And also this:
Quote from: undefined(Transport Minister) Mr Steel said that the ACT would be buying 84 new buses over the next few years, some of which may be zero, low-emission or hybrid vehicles, but by 2025 diesel would not be an option.

By "low emission" they probably mean Euro VI diesel. No published contract yet, but if they plan to stick with the original schedule then I'd be expecting 24 more Scania K320UBs next year.

Barry Drive

I've split this topic: a recent post by Minister Steel has verified that the 84 buses funded in the budget are in addition to the 40 Scanias currently on order. It doesn't make clear how many will be replacement buses rather than fleet expansion, but with Woden Depot opening some time this decade there will be room for up to 120 more buses.

Assuming all 40 current Scanias are replacement buses (which is unlikely), there are a further 55 buses (Renault and Irisbus) which would have to be withdrawn before any "LNG" buses are due for replacement. That won't leave many left for fleet expansion.

What is also not known is when delivery will commence. The budget said 12 buses every six months starting this year, but with no contract (and no new depot) that won't be happening.