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

By Charlotte Harper - 6 June 2016 27

ACTION bus

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?


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27 Responses to
Budget to fund electric bus trial, 20 new buses, new City Loop
dungfungus 12:04 pm 07 Jun 16

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.

bj_ACT 12:02 pm 07 Jun 16

creative_canberran said :

Question on the Wanniassa park & ride – does this mean they will be building a byway stop on Athlon Drive for Wanniassa/Kambah residents to catch the 900 series buses travelling between Woden and Tuggers along that route? At the moment the closest stop is a 4km+ walk away from either side of the Wanniassa/Red Rooster roundabout, which is exactly where there should be a stop on both sides for the buses running along that road, as the local residents have been asking for for about 10+ years now. It beggars belief that this stop wasn’t added a long time ago!

Do you mean the Athlonn Dr Stop local residents have been asking for over a Decade and the government has been continually promising to deliver for about the same amount of time. I wonder if this will be yet another Tuggeranong promise that get’s canned after the election – AGAIN.

Here is a March 2012 Minister announcement for the Wanniassa Park & Ride: http://info.cmcd.act.gov.au/archived-media-releases/mediaaf72.html?v=11463&m=53

rubaiyat 11:08 am 07 Jun 16

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.

JC 10:53 am 07 Jun 16

gooterz 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.

Agree with most of what you are saying, that there will be other costs, but FYI a standard diesel bus costs the best part of $500,000k these days.

What I don’t understand about buses in this country is why Hybrids have not been explored more. Yet another thing that works very well in Europe, with the vast majority of new route buses being hybrids, yet we still go the full diesel option, or in this case full electric. Want full electric then may as well go tram or trolley bus.

PS what I was meaning in relation to the electric buses is the $900,000k for the 3 buses, will without doubt be a lease plus ancillary costs as you mention.

JC 10:50 am 07 Jun 16

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.

Agree with most of what you are saying, that there will be other costs, but FYI a standard diesel bus costs the best part of $500,000k these days.

What I don’t understand about buses in this country is why Hybrids have not been explored more. Yet another thing that works very well in Europe, with the vast majority of new route buses being hybrids, yet we still go the full diesel option, or in this case full electric. Want full electric then may as well go tram or trolley bus.

dungfungus 9:51 am 07 Jun 16

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.

Both Brisbane and Adelaide have trialled electric (battery) buses in recent times.
All trials have been total failures.
The Canberra electric buses will end up parked alongside the trams in our future Momento Park so we can be eternally reminded of the follies of the current minority Labor government.

dungfungus 9:42 am 07 Jun 16

gooterz said :

Not being familiar with Wanniassa and trying to work out just why the transport is so unworkable in Tuggeranong I had a look with Google Maps.

Discovered two things.

Erindale/Wanniassa should have been the Tuggeranong Town Centre but isn’t.

Sternberg Cres is yet another multi-lane heavy traffic road with facing houses and no earth berms.

If I hunt through all the Canberra suburbs I know that is pretty much the default. I used to live in Weston and Duffy so know that they mix heavy traffic with houses with no token protection.

In fact the only places I can think of that have the supposed earth berms are selected parts of Belconnen. None in Coombs/Wright nor in initial stages of development of Dunlop.

So traffic noise is a real and growing plague in Canberra. If you are already affected it will get worse, if you don’t have it yet, just wait until you become a parking lot for autonomous cars.

Do autonomous cars still work with flat tyres?

Kalliste 9:26 am 07 Jun 16

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)

wildturkeycanoe 7:08 am 07 Jun 16

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.

dungfungus 11:14 pm 06 Jun 16

creative_canberran said :

Question on the Wanniassa park & ride – does this mean they will be building a byway stop on Athlon Drive for Wanniassa/Kambah residents to catch the 900 series buses travelling between Woden and Tuggers along that route? At the moment the closest stop is a 4km+ walk away from either side of the Wanniassa/Red Rooster roundabout, which is exactly where there should be a stop on both sides for the buses running along that road, as the local residents have been asking for for about 10+ years now. It beggars belief that this stop wasn’t added a long time ago!

But this year is an election year.

rubaiyat 10:28 pm 06 Jun 16

Not being familiar with Wanniassa and trying to work out just why the transport is so unworkable in Tuggeranong I had a look with Google Maps.

Discovered two things.

Erindale/Wanniassa should have been the Tuggeranong Town Centre but isn’t.

Sternberg Cres is yet another multi-lane heavy traffic road with facing houses and no earth berms.

If I hunt through all the Canberra suburbs I know that is pretty much the default. I used to live in Weston and Duffy so know that they mix heavy traffic with houses with no token protection.

In fact the only places I can think of that have the supposed earth berms are selected parts of Belconnen. None in Coombs/Wright nor in initial stages of development of Dunlop.

So traffic noise is a real and growing plague in Canberra. If you are already affected it will get worse, if you don’t have it yet, just wait until you become a parking lot for autonomous cars.

Postalgeek 9:13 pm 06 Jun 16

So we won’t be hearing any more of the over-flogged ‘light rail is clean and buses will only ever be dirty and noisy’ line?

Mordd 8:39 pm 06 Jun 16

Question on the Wanniassa park & ride – does this mean they will be building a byway stop on Athlon Drive for Wanniassa/Kambah residents to catch the 900 series buses travelling between Woden and Tuggers along that route? At the moment the closest stop is a 4km+ walk away from either side of the Wanniassa/Red Rooster roundabout, which is exactly where there should be a stop on both sides for the buses running along that road, as the local residents have been asking for for about 10+ years now. It beggars belief that this stop wasn’t added a long time ago!

rubaiyat 5:29 pm 06 Jun 16

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.

rubaiyat 5:25 pm 06 Jun 16

That route isn’t free, the only reason you would use it, or actually useful.

The route should pass close by destinations. Unless it remains diesel in which case at least a block away to avoid ruining the neighborhood.

Loops should not be back to back, a gap of two or three blocks covers a larger area with only short walks to access and there should be a clockwise and counterclockwise loop so you do not have to go around the far side of the loop to get where you wanted to go.

If they bring in the electric buses, which will be somewhat quieter and less polluting, they should circulate round an inside broader suburban loop, through the ANU, City, Braddon, Dickson crossing over to Lyneham, O’Connor, Turner and back via the ANU to the City. This would have been my chosen route for the first Tram and fostered the medium to high rise development Inner City development needed.

The unfortunate location of the Dickson Bus Interchange prevents a sensible crossing of Northbourne Avenue, a real killer. Look forward to that bad decision being revisited at great expense in the future, just as all the other bus terminuses have been now.

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