Media Release: Jon Stanhope MLA, 15 September 2009

The first of 100 accessible and environmentally-friendly buses is now part of the ACTION fleet, Chief Minister and Minister for Transport, Jon Stanhope, announced today.

The MAN Euro 5 clean diesel bus is the first of its kind to be used in Australia and is from the first batch built in the world.

Bus 390 on display at its media launch in Civic Square.

“This new bus features a low floor for greater accessibility and very importantly, the bus delivers low emissions,” Mr Stanhope said.

“The bus is the latest available from manufacturer MAN Europe and is fully accessible and climate controlled. The new bus also exceeds the current Australian emissions standards. The Euro 5 standards are not due for implementation in Australia until 2011.

“Ten of the new buses will pilot service information screens providing bus stop and service information. The screens meet requirements set out in the Disability Discrimination Act 1992 for visually and hearing impaired customers.

“The MAN Euro 5 buses will be on high volume, high frequency routes across the ACTION network.”

Funding of $49.5 million has been provided in the 2008-09 Budget for the purchase of 100 replacement buses over the next four financial years. Each MAN Euro 5 bus will cost approximately $460,000.

“The fleet replacement program will be rolled out over the next three years as part of the ACT Government’s commitment to achieving an accessible fleet target of 55% by December 2012,” said Mr Stanhope.

“The 74 MAN buses will hold 67 passengers and will progressively be delivered to ACTION with all buses in service by the end of June 2011. A further 26 large capacity buses from Scania will be delivered to ACTION from December 2009 to the end of June 2012.

“The new 74 diesel powered buses are a change from the recent purchases of Compressed Natural Gas (CNG) powered vehicles in the ACTION fleet. Based on cost, emissions and vehicle capacity, diesel is the best option for ACTION’s new 100 vehicles.

“The Euro 5 low emissions diesel bus is on par with emissions from CNG powered buses as a result of advances in diesel engine technology. New diesel buses also have a higher passenger capacity. For every ten diesel buses, eleven CNG buses are required.

“This is an exciting day for public transport in the ACT. I encourage Canberrans to use the new MAN Euro 5 bus and discover the convenience, comfort and style that these new buses offer.”

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