Hybrid bus trial ticks all boxes
Customers loved the quiet ride and the cool look, drivers loved the smooth ride, the bus company loved the cheaper fuel bill and everyone loved the reduced transport emissions.
These were the results of the trial of a hybrid bus in Wellington earlier this year. A report on the trial was considered today (Wednesday 22 June) by the Regional Council's Sustainable Transport Committee.
Newlands Coach Services trialled the Volvo B5RH bus on some of its busiest Newlands and Churton Park routes for four weeks in January and February.
Ian Turner, Chief Executive of Newlands Coach Services, was delighted with how the trial went. "Customers loved the look of the modern, bright and distinctive bus and commented on how quiet it was."
"Taking into account the challenging Ngauranga Gorge route, the unusually warm weather which required more air conditioning and the heavy passenger numbers with people returning to work after the New Year break, we were really impressed with how the bus performed. It covered about 5,400kms and used 40% less fuel than other buses that operated the same routes during the same period."
Paul Swain, Chair of the Sustainable Transport Committee, says the results are encouraging, particularly in light of the Council's plan to include hybrids in the transition to a fully electric bus fleet.
"Hybrids are clearly a great stepping stone to a full electric bus fleet - this trial has shown they're clean, quiet and cool.
"We're aiming for Wellington to lead the country with a full electric bus fleet when the technology is mature and affordable. In the meantime we need to modernise the existing fleet and our plan includes some hybrid buses.
"We'll be going out to market in July calling for tenders for new partnering contracts for the region's bus services. We're looking forward to some exciting responses from operators who are rising to our challenge to provide cleaner, smarter bus travel for people in the Wellington region."
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