Melbourne’s bus fleet to electrify from next year in $2.3 billion contract


From June next year, Melbourne’s buses will be electrifying. Victoria’s Minister for Public Transport, Ben Carroll, on the weekend announced Kinetic had been award a $2.3 billion contract to operate and subsequently electrify the Metropolitan Bus Franchise, which operates about a third of the city’s public bus services.

Kinetic will deliver five fully electric buses into the network by the middle of next year, with that number expanding to 36 electric buses by mid-2025. In 2031, when the contract ends, 341 out of 537 buses in the Metropolitan Bus Franchise fleet should be low or zero-emissions vehicles.

The new buses will reportedly come from bus maker Volgren’s manufacturing facility in Dandenong, in Melbourne’s south-east.

Kinetic is also working with Queensland’s government to introduce electric buses to Cairns and the Gold Coast. It already operates electric fleets in New Zealand and is planning to electrify Adelaide airport’s airside and landside shuttle buses.

It is not clear whether Kinetic is looking at other technologies like hydrogen-powered buses – which are very much on the cards for neighbouring New South Wales, though clarification has been sought.

Kinetic will take over the bus contract from Transdev, which currently operates the Melbourne fleet. 

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