Michael Ferguson,Minister for Infrastructure and Transport
The Tasmanian Liberal Government is transforming public transport through a range of initiatives designed to boost patronage and reduce traffic congestion.
Commuters are enjoying travelling on modern buses, with Metro’s fleet now one of the youngest in Australia, at an average of 8.1 years.
Metro’s Accelerated Bus Replacement Program was successfully completed in April this year, with the delivery of the 100th new low-emission, wheelchair-accessible bus.
The fleet is well below the industry average of 12 years and almost half the average age of the fleet in 2016, before the first new bus was delivered.
The buses were built by BusTech in partnership with Elphinstone at Wynyard in the North West, resulting in the creation of more than 30 direct advanced manufacturing jobs and more than 60 indirect jobs in the Tasmanian supply chain.
The $45 million replacement program was, at the time, the State’s largest advanced manufacturing project. Metro is now looking to the future with a zero-emissions bus trial.
Metro demonstrated agility and professionalism during the COVID-19 response as it continued to provide essential public transport services.
It’s pleasing to see that 80 per cent of customers have returned to public transport as Metro transitioned to a COVID-safe operating environment.
This level of patronage recovery is the second highest in the nation, behind Western Australia, at 84 per cent. New South Wales, by comparison, has seen only 54 per cent of customers return to its services.
Our largest public transport provider is well placed to embrace the benefits of the Tasmanian Liberal Government’s $81.5 million investment in public transport over four years, including a contemporary ticketing solution, extra buses, bus stop upgrades, and extra park and ride facilities to attract more Tasmanians to public transport.