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Island Bay residents hear about electric bus plans

Island Bay residents hear about electric bus plans

2 October 2017

Plans for infrastructure to help power the country’s first fleet of electric buses were unveiled to Island Bay residents tonight.

Greater Wellington Regional Council is proposing to install two charging poles in Reef Street, where buses currently terminate, to provide fast top-ups for 10 electric double-deckers that will operate between Island Bay and Johnsonville from next July.

At a meeting of the Island Bay Residents’ Association, regional council staff provided details of the new technology, along with artist impressions of how the street will look with the poles in place

Bus operator Tranzit lodged a resource consent application last month with Wellington City Council to install the charging poles. Greater Wellington will lodge an application this month seeking formal recognition of the bus stops next to the poles.

Greater Wellington’s Sustainable Transport Committee Chair, Cr Barbara Donaldson, says the Island Bay infrastructure will help it towards its ultimate goal of an all-electric fleet.

“Electric buses will only grow as a proportion of the overall regional fleet, providing a reliable, emission-free form of public transport.

“In effect, they will become the trolley buses we are about to retire – but with a far wider area of operation and without the limitations and high maintenance of overhead wires.”

Over the next three years, another 22 electric buses will come into service. In 2020, another 10 will be added to the Island Bay-Johnsonville route, and in 2021, 12 will begin operating on the Brooklyn-CBD route. The eventual goal is an all-electric fleet.

The stop beside one of the poles will be formally gazetted as a layby, where buses can take as long as they need to recharge – probably about 10 minutes – while the other will be a regular stop. Buses there will be able to recharge in the time available before their scheduled departure.

© Scoop Media

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