The first of 100 new buses being built by the Andrews Labor Government have hit Melbourne’s roads, providing a more reliable, comfortable and safer experience for passengers travelling on metropolitan routes.
Minister for Public Transport Melissa Horne visited Volgren’s factory in Dandenong this week to inspect the new buses, which are part of a $16 million order by the Labor Government.
The first instalment includes 18 new buses – the single biggest order of replacement buses in Victoria for more than 25 years.
The new buses are replacing the ageing fleet and already taking passengers. They are initially operating out of Transdev’s North Fitzroy depot on routes around the inner north and eastern suburbs, including Carlton, Kew, Port Melbourne and Altona North.
Half of the buses are being built at Volgren’s Dandenong factory, providing further job security for the workforce.
The remaining 50 in the order are being built in Ballarat by automotive manufacturer Oz Press Industries, creating 20 local jobs. These jobs include body builders, panel beaters, aftersales staff, auto electricians and painters.
All 100 new buses are set to be delivered and taking passengers by July 2020.
The new buses will be low floor and fully accessible for all passengers, feature USB charging facilities, improved CCTV capability, as well as a bigger priority seating area. All 100 buses will be built in line with the Government’s Local Jobs First policy, ensuring each vehicle is made with 60 per cent local content.
This bus order is on top of the Labor Government’s record investment in rolling stock, including $2.3 billion for bigger better metropolitan trains, $848.5 million for new regional trains and 100 bigger, modern and accessible E-Class trams.
The Victorian Budget 2019/20 also includes $205.1 million to increase train and bus services. New bus routes and more services will be rolled out in growth areas in the north and south-east, connecting people to jobs, reducing travel times and improving public transport options in the suburbs and regions.
As noted by Minister for Public Transport Melissa Horne
“These new buses will give passengers a more reliable, comfortable and safer journey when travelling around Melbourne.”
“We’re modernising, expanding and upgrading Melbourne’s bus fleet, with the single biggest order of replacement buses in Victoria for more than two decades.”
“We’re delivering the biggest order of new trains, trams and buses this state has ever seen and ensuring they are built right here in Victoria.”