“If the trial proves that these vehicles are economically viable and feasible, they could become a part of Sydney’s permanent bus fleet,” confirmed NSW Minister for Transport John Robertson, who also added that Sydney Buses alone operate more than 15,000 services every working day with a large fleet of CNG units.
Bus and Coach International Pty Ltd and Custom Coaches will share a $1 million tender granted by the NSW government to carry out this upcoming initiative that involves a 12-month trial period starting in early 2011. “We know that hybrid technology has the potential to reduce our state’s carbon footprint and improve air quality,” said Robertson.
NSW is imitating similar trials previously undertaken by governments in Victoria and Queensland since July last year. In turn, Minister for Climate Change and Environment Frank Sartor said hybrid buses are already being used in many parts of Europe.
Regarding the substitution program, started 4 years ago, the government invested $250 million and has already replaced 420 buses -with either diesel or natural gas units- of the 505 STA old buses.