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In a state-first, two hydrogen fuel cell buses will expand Victoria’s $20 million Zero Emissions Bus Trial, which already includes over 40 electric buses. 

The State Government is working with Transit Systems to roll out the two hydrogen fuel cell buses and a further nine electric buses to operate from its Footscray depot from March 2023, adding to the 41 electric buses already announced as part of the trial.

The trial will provide practical information including how zero emissions buses perform and the energy and charging requirements for different types of routes. It will also give insights into how the buses can improve financial and environmental sustainability and customer outcomes.

The Transit Systems trial buses will operate on 15 school services and 26 routes in the western suburbs including in Footscray, Sunshine, Yarraville, Newport, Melton, and Williamstown.

Transit Systems joins five other bus operators selected to trial electric buses on existing bus routes in Melbourne, Seymour and Traralgon, with the first trial buses due to enter the state’s public transport network in August.

Victorian Minister for Public Transport, Ben Carroll, said it is critical to invest in greener technology now.

“These Victorian-first hydrogen fuel cell buses will help us drive down pollution and remove noisy diesel buses from the public network for good,” Mr Carroll said. 

“We will continue working closely with our public transport operators, like Transit Systems and Kinetic, to deliver these zero-emissions buses which will also provide passengers with quieter and more comfortable journeys.”

Under current initiatives, Victorians will be travelling on at least 89 quieter, smoother and fume-free zero emissions buses each week by mid-2025, jump starting the plan for all new public buses to be zero emissions from 2025.

Creating a greener fleet is part of Victoria’s Bus Plan to develop a modern and reliable network that attracts more passengers, with the new, greener buses critical to the State Government’s goal of net zero emissions by 2050.

Transit Systems Chief Operating Officer, Greg Balkin, said Transit Systems are proud to be part of the trial. 

“Transit Systems is confident that these trials will effectively demonstrate the performance of zero emissions technology and accelerate the deployment of zero emission buses,” Mr Balkin said. 

“The outcomes will transform the Melbourne public bus transport network into a smoother, quieter, and cleaner network for our customers and the wider community.”

In another development, Kinetic’s first two electric buses are now operating in the western suburbs, beginning its roll-out of an average of one electric bus per month over the next three years.

Kinetic Co-CEO, Michael Sewards, said the move was an exciting step forward for the company. 

“We’re proud to support the Victorian Government’s transition to zero-emissions transport and we hope it’s an incentive for Victorians to get out of their cars and onto our buses which are better for local communities and the environment.

“The introduction of our first two electric buses is an exciting step in Kinetic’s journey to deliver a safer, cleaner and greener bus service for all Victorians.”

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