Skip to content Skip to main navigation


Skilled legal advice with
accessible & personal attention

Budget to fund electric bus trial, 20 new buses, new City Loop

By Charlotte Harper 6 June 2016 27


The ACT Government will allocate $17 million in tomorrow’s ACT Budget for transport services, including 20 new buses for the territory, a new city loop service, an electric bus trial, new services in Weston Creek and Molonglo and a Park & Ride facility in Wanniassa.

The spend will also cover the cost of improvements to the Woden bus interchange as well as design for a new bus depot in Woden.

The City Loop will run every 15 minutes between 7am and 7pm on weekdays from July 4 to coincide with the commencement of operations for new Transport Canberra agency. The agency is tasked with integrating buses with light rail, developing a single ticketing system and coordinated timetabling and overseeing active travel upgrades and transport innovation.

The new service will connect highly-frequented areas of the CBD (see map) such as the city bus station, Canberra Centre, Braddon, Northbourne Avenue, the ANU and New Acton. It will link in with Red and Blue Rapid services and buses to the Parliamentary Triangle.

Click here to see the city loop route map

The electric bus trial will run for 12 months and cost $900,000. The buses will be used on regular route services, on and off peak, across the bus network.

The 20 new buses will cost $10 million over two years and form part of an ongoing fleet replacement program.

The Park and Ride facility in Wanniassa will cost $1.5 million in design and construction costs.

The Government will spend $3.5 million over four years in Weston Creek and the Molonglo region, adding an all-day direct service, the Weston Line, to better connect Woden, Cooleman Court in Weston and the City.

Wright will receive increased coverage and frequency and the Route 83 and Xpresso 783 services will be extended to include Coombs.

Click here to see the Weston Creek and Molonglo bus map

The improvements to the Woden bus interchange will cost $300,000, with $775,000 allocated for the design of the new bus depot there. Construction on the 120-bus facility is expected to take place between 2017 and 2019.

What’s Your opinion?

Please login to post your comments, or connect with
27 Responses to
Budget to fund electric bus trial, 20 new buses, new City Loop
Showing only Website comments
Newest to Oldest
Oldest to Newst
JC 11:17 am 08 Jun 16

rommeldog56 said :

American data but still interesting:

The long life of Light Rail and NY’s subways actually cost less per hour to run than a bus, are of especial note.

Still looking for it but there was an Australian site that had prices on a range of buses, which vary considerably according to specification. Needless to say they are very expensive, starting over half a mill. each for a basic bus, and very high maintenance. Not just dirty and noisy.

As the article points out San Francisco’s historic line has trams that are still running for well over 100 years. SF’s more modern BART is still going strong 48 years it was installed. Buses by contrast last 12 – 20 years, depending just how much bone rattling ride and deafening creaking and shaking you are willing to put up with.

We have the usual false arguments that site a vague (in reality not so) “cheap” price for dirty diesel buses but then talk about supposedly clean and (not) quiet electric buses hoping nobody notices the bait and switch.

Agree that there are hidden costs over the life of a bus, as there is with anything in life. That said you were clearly talking about the purchase price, which as stated to you many times is around $500,000 for a rigid city bus and $700,000 for an artic.

End of story…

And besides the electric buses are clearly NOT being purchased and the $900k is the total cost of the trial.

JC 11:15 am 08 Jun 16

gooterz said :

I wonder if the bus will be one of these – It holds only 15 people but this would be awesome for the new City loop service.
Noosa looks to be doing a 6 month trial of electric buses for $131,200. Source
I think $900k odd would be quite expensive for just one bus given this small figure that has been actually tendered.

Just to be clear the city free bus and the electric bus trial are two separate things.

If I were a betting man I would say the bus you will see on the free city bus will be one of the Dennis Darts (the midi buses) that were used for the centenary loop service a few years back.

wildturkeycanoe 7:16 am 08 Jun 16

I wonder if the bus will be one of these – It holds only 15 people but this would be awesome for the new City loop service.
Noosa looks to be doing a 6 month trial of electric buses for $131,200. Source
I think $900k odd would be quite expensive for just one bus given this small figure that has been actually tendered.

JC 4:56 pm 07 Jun 16

Heavs said :

rommeldog56 said :

gooterz said :

bigred said :

JC said :

Holden Caulfield said :

Just reading the detail on that $900,000 electric bus trial, suggests it is only one bus and will probably be like the previous natural gas buses, merely a token gesture.

Where did you find details of this trial except for the media release which isn’t very specific?
Also, no it will not be just one bus, it is going to be up to three buses. A trial also means that there will be expenses other than just the bus itself, because they will need to install charging stations, train staff on how to operate the vehicles, hire people to conduct monitoring of the service and collect and analyze data before publishing a report. Of these activities, I’d say probably half the cost will be going to producing the paperwork.
A token gesture would be providing free transport for the first week and installing a plaque in commemoration of the launch of the first bus, the unveiling being done by the Minister for Transport and Municipal Services Meegan Fitzharris.

You have no idea what even ordinary buses cost. $900,000 sounds about right, regular buses are not much less.

The last Scania bendy-buses that were supplied to ACTION cost $700K each.

And the ridged buses are about the $500,000 mark, so dunno why rubaiyat thinks they cost not much less than $900,000.

In this case all academic anyway as the $900,000 would appear to be the total cost of the trial, so clearly they are not being purchased, but either leased or loaned to the ACT by someone.

PS am I agreeing with you Dungers on something… Weird day hey?

Given what Teslas cost relative to cars I am guessing in the absence of other data $900,000 is about right:

6 year old Scania is $440,000.

I can see why others get cranky….

Repeat after me. $900,000 is the cost of the trial, it is NOT the cost of a single electric bus.

And as I have mentioned a rigid bus as used by Action costs circa $500,000 brand new. Look at the budget papers, 20 buses $10m, $500k each, easy maths. And as Dungers said and for once was right, an artic is about $700,000.

And don’t even try and compare a brand new route bus to a 5 or 10 year old coach. Chalk and cheese really.

gooterz 4:25 pm 07 Jun 16

rosscoact said :

The question is, is the city loop free? I would want it to be something similar to the city tram in Melbourne (granted all of their city only trams are free).

It also seems strange for a route like that to go up Northbourne, don’t we already have enough buses that go up Northbourne? Wouldn’t it make more sense to move it back a block and go up mort, maybe down Elouera (rather than having to get onto Girrahween) and up Lonsdale (put in a stop or too and get rid of the crappy road side parking.. the government could even use it as some sort of initiative about opening up Lonsdale and more outside something something blah blah)

Its free. (budget papers)

rubaiyat 3:24 pm 07 Jun 16

Related Articles

CBR Tweets

Sign up to our newsletter

Copyright © 2018 Region Group Pty Ltd. All rights reserved. | | |

Search across the site