Delivery of the new buses will commence in the middle of this year and continue until mid 2013. The buses will replace older vehicles in the State Transit fleet to provide a more comfortable ride to passengers across Sydney’s North Western Suburbs, Inner West, South, Northern Beaches, Eastern Suburbs and Newcastle said Premier Kristina Keneally.
“All of the new buses will be air-conditioned and low to the floor so that mums with prams, wheelchair users and the elderly can easily get on and off the bus,” she said.
The new buses are over and above the 1000 growth buses the Government will purchase over ten years under the Metropolitan Transport Plan.
“The Government rolled out more than 100 growth buses in the past six months, boosting services in the Central Coast, the Hunter, and West and North Western Sydney,” Ms Keneally said.
“Today’s announcement means that not only will we continue to grow our bus fleet, but we will replace buses as needed to provide a more comfortable ride for passengers.”
David Mead, General Manager Volvo Bus said the Volvo team was extremely humbled by today’s announcement as it is the seventh time since 2002 Volvo has been successful in securing contracts put to tender by the STA.
“The new contract will see buses built on the Volvo B7RLE chassis enter the STA fleet for the first time,” said Mead.
“We are particularly excited about this given the B7RLE model is now well proven in the Australian market and continues to set the industry standard for fuel efficiency, driveability and lifecycle costs.
”Including all other Volvo models the new contract will take the total number of Volvo buses currently in the STA’s fleet to more than 900.”
Minister for Transport John Robertson said the new buses will be built with the latest technology.
“The 12.5 metre, air-conditioned, low-floor, rigid buses from Volvo are among the latest and most fuel efficient diesel bus models available,” Mr Robertson said.
“The carbon footprint of each bus is less than previous models and the driveability for bus drivers is excellent.
“The standard life of a bus is approximately 25 years, and as they reach their use-by-date they need to be replaced in order to maintain a top class bus service for the public.
Not only is today’s announcement good news for bus passengers across the state, but also for the industry’s employment in NSW.
“Every bus [in the new contract] will be built right here in NSW, creating 49 new full time local jobs, including six new apprenticeships,” said Ms Keneally.
In addition to the creation new jobs, Volvo employs more than 400 staff across NSW, with in excess of 320 staff based in the south western suburbs of Sydney.
Steve Read (Volvo Bus National Service Manager) and Mark Burgess (CEO Custom Coaches) were on hand at Custom Coaches’ new facility in Villawood for the announcement today with Premier Kristina Keneally and the Minister for Transport John Robertson.