Sydney’s east to receive 136 zero emission buses under new contract

Commuters in Sydney’s CBD and Eastern Suburbs can look forward to a greener, more reliable commute from next year. Image: John Holland.

Sydney’s central business district (CBD) and eastern suburbs will be enjoying a new fleet of 136 zero emission buses as the region transitions to a new bus operator.

Transdev John Holland Buses, an integrated joint venture partnership between Transdev Australasia and John Holland, has been awarded the contract to operate Greater Sydney Bus Contract Nine (Region Nine) on behalf of Transport for NSW (TfNSW) until 2030.

The region includes some of the city’s busiest bus routes, with a patronage of 67 million customer journeys in a typical year.

Routes connect Sydney’s CBD to the eastern beaches, La Perouse to the south, the suburban centres of Darlinghurst, Kings Cross, Randwick, Redfern, Waverley, Bondi, Coogee and Mascot, and the harbourside suburbs of Elizabeth Bay, Double Bay and Vaucluse.

Bus services in the Greater Sydney Metropolitan area are divided into 15 regions, serviced by individual contracts. Historically, these contracts have been operated by a combination of the State Transit Authority and private operators.

Contracts Seven, Eight and Nine – still under operation by the State Transit Authority – entered procurement processes for private operation in 2020 and 2021, with Region Nine expected to transition to the new provider from Sunday 3 April 2022.

TfNSW aims to transition the state’s 8,000 plus bus fleet to zero emissions buses progressively by 2030 – as part of a broader plan to achieve net zero emissions by 2050.

In May this year, TfNSW awarded the contract for Sydney Region Eight, covering the Lower North Shore and Northern Beaches, to the Keolis Downer joint venture to operate a fleet of 125 electric buses.

Sydney-based bus operator Busways was awarded one of the largest contracts under the transition program in July this year, when the company was appointed by TfNSW to operate almost 1.1 million trips per year for customers in the Lower North Shore and Inner North West for Greater Sydney Bus Contract Seven in an eight-year contract.

Busways will be introducing the first Australian-made electric buses built by Custom Denning, starting from January 2022.

While the first two years of TfNSW’s Transition Strategy (2021–22 calendar years) will focus on short term replacement opportunities, meeting the 2030 challenge will require peak vehicle deliveries of 1200 – 1300 buses per annum in later years.

To lear more about TfNSW’s Transition Strategy, click here.


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