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Electric Bus No Joke

Electric Bus No Joke

Joint Media Release from ARC and Auckland City Council

Free electric buses are soon to hit CBD streets, but without the need for retailers’ power points.

Auckland Regional Council, in association with Auckland City Council, Heart of the City and Stagecoach are gearing up to launch Auckland’s first Hybrid Electric Vehicle (HEV) bus fleet on the successful City Circuit service.

Scheduled for a May arrival, the bright red HEV buses are environmentally friendly, reducing air and noise pollution and providing a smoother ride for passengers.

Contrary to an April Fools Day joke from Stagecoach and Heart of the City suggesting that the buses will require ‘pit stops’ at power points along the route, the vehicles are in fact powered by an electric turbine which reduces the harmful emissions associated with diesel-only buses. Because the emissions are constant, the HEV buses are considerably quieter and do not ‘belch’ clouds of black smoke as they accelerate.

ARC Passenger Transport Committee Chairwoman, Catherine Harland, says the new HEV City Circuit buses are an excellent example of the way public transport is progressing in Auckland.

“Hybrid electric buses have proven extremely successful in cities around the world and it’s great to be able to offer this in Auckland.”

Cr. Harland says the introduction of the environmentally friendly buses reinforces the ARC’s commitment to improving air quality.

“Aucklanders have told us they want more environmentally friendly transport alternatives, and delivering 3 brand new HEV vehicles to the Auckland’s city streets is an example of what good partnerships can achieve.”

Auckland City Councillor Greg McKeown, Transport Committee Chairperson, says the addition of the new bus fleet is set to bolster what is already one of the region’s most successful services.

“City Circuit is a great way to travel around the CBD – it’s free, and it’s now the most appropriate way for shoppers, workers, students and visitors to get to key inner-city destinations. The service eliminates parking hassles in the city and provides a simple connection for passengers to and from other bus, ferry or train services,” says Cr. McKeown.

City Circuit launch is consistent with Auckland City’s plans to improve the environment of the CBD. ”The HEV buses – as electric buses – are such a great improvement to transport with air emissions, subtle noise and additional comfort of ride. It is a major step up in terms of transport quality,” adds Cr. McKeown, “Credit must be given to Heart Of The City for their championing of the project over a period of years.”

The HEV buses are currently under construction in Designline’s Ashburton workshops, scheduled for delivery in May. They will replace the existing City Circuit buses, making the bright red fleet Auckland’s only electric bus service. City Circuit operates 7 days a week, from 8am – 6pm for free, linking the waterfront, Queen Street, Auckland University, AUT, and Sky Tower.

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