Valid from: 12/06/2014 12:00am

Hybrid buses recommended as transition towards fully electric bus future for Wellington region

Greater Wellington Regional Council will work towards a zero emissions future with a long term goal of running a fully electric bus fleet through the region.

That’s the recommendation of the Council’s Annual Plan hearings committee which concluded its deliberations today on the hearing of public submissions on the Regional Public Transport Plan.  The plan will go to the full Council on 26 June for adoption.

Paul Swain, the Regional Council’s public transport portfolio leader, says the Public Transport Plan is a step change for the region. “It will prepare us for a new era aimed at getting more people out of cars and onto public transport. The plan includes faster and more frequent train services, integrated fares where people use one card for all public transport services and improved bus networks with faster trips particularly through the Wellington CBD in lower emission vehicles.

“The Council strongly supports the move to cleaner public transport solutions. We believe hybrids are the best technology for use during the transition to electric buses which are still some way off. Hybrid buses will  increase the reliability and flexibility of our bus network, while reducing emissions and improving the environment in places with high congestion, like Wellington’s Golden Mile.”

The Council’s plan is to start replacing the oldest diesel buses with modern hybrid buses as the buses come up to the end of their contracted life and will be working with bus operators to achieve a smooth transition.

The plan is to phase out the trolley buses in 2017 due to their high cost, lack of reliability and flexibility, and replace them with the latest hybrid technology available at the time.

“We are once again showing national leadership by signalling the move to a modern reliable low emission bus fleet that will attract more people on to public transport.”

Posted on 13 June 2014