Transit Systems’ depot in West Footscray has been upgraded to be the base for the fleet of the nine electric buses, which forms part of the Victorian state government’s $20 million Zero Emissions Bus Trial.
Minister for public transport Ben Carroll and minister for climate action Lily D’Ambrosio visited the – now running nine new electric buses to service popular routes across Melbourne’s west, including Williamstown, Moonee Ponds, Footscray and Sunshine.
Transit Systems is one of six operators across Victoria taking part in the trial, which will see 52 zero-emission buses – 50 electric and two Victorian-first hydrogen buses – rolled out across Melbourne, Traralgon and Seymour.
From 2025, all new buses on Victoria’s public transport routes will be zero emissions – and this trial will inform the transition of around 4,000 diesel buses in the state’s public fleet, including around 2,200 in regional Victoria.
The Victorian Budget 2023/24 includes funding to support the rollout of zero-emission buses as part of new 10-year metropolitan bus contracts, putting more clean transport on the network by 2035.
This rollout joins other zero emission buses already operating around the state’s network – including in Melbourne’s west, with Kinetic delivering electric buses on various routes operating out of Sunshine.
Data collected from the trial will provide practical information like how zero emission buses perform, and energy and charging requirements for different types of routes. It will also give insight into how the buses can improve financial and environmental sustainability.
The trial is also fostering vital local industry partnerships – such as with energy providers and manufacturers – that will be needed to achieve the transition across the state.
The Victorian state government has set world-leading emissions reduction targets of 75 – 80 per cent by 2035 and net zero by 2045.
“We’re investing in cleaner technologies, supporting local manufacturing and delivering a more modern, efficient and reliable bus network that gets passengers where they need to go,” Carroll said.
Minister D’Ambrosio said, “The Zero Emissions Bus Trial is one of the key parts of Victoria’s ambitious climate action agenda and will help us meet our world leading emissions reduction targets of 75-80 per cent by 2035 and net zero by 2045.”