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Bus and Coach Association supports Energy Strategy

Thursday, 27 September 2001

MEDIA RELEASE

Bus and Coach Association supports National Energy Efficiency Strategy

The Bus and Coach Association, an organisation that represents all of New Zealand's major and most small bus companies from all sectors within the industry, have today announced their support of New Zealand's first National Energy Efficiency and Conservation Strategy.

"The New Zealand Government and the Energy Efficiency and Conservation Authority (EECA) are to be commended. This Strategy brings extensive and comprehensive responses to the principles of energy efficiency and conservation in New Zealand," says Bus and Coach executive director, John Collyns.

"Domestic transport accounts for 42 percent of New Zealand's total energy use and 45 percent of the country's carbon dioxide emissions. Changing transport habits is critical in New Zealand's bid to reduce carbon dioxide emissions and energy waste.

"The Strategy encourages New Zealanders to use lower energy transport options, such as public transport, walking, and cycling. Buses provide part of the solution as an attractive alternative to the private car and will assist EECA in achieving their Strategy targets in this sector.

"The average car occupancy in our cities is only 1.16 people, and one third of all car trips are less than two kilometres. Under-using cars and using them when there are other more efficient options wastes energy and pollutes the environment," Mr Collyns says.

The Bus and Coach Association are already working with EECA on an energy efficiency transport programme that will include training bus and coach drivers to help them drive in a more energy-efficient manner. This is an initiative that Mr Collyns hopes will also reduce industry reliance on fossil fuels and has the potential to save up to 40 percent on fuel bills.

"The Orbiter bus service in Christchurch, winner of the 2001 Energy-Wise transport award, is a fine example of energy efficiency in action. The buses were the first in the country to be fitted with airline industry noise reduction technology (were they?) and conform to stringent Euro II emissions standards. They have reduced car trips in the city by over 200,00 a year which is something to be proud of."

And the bus priority systems on Auckland's Dominion and Mt Eden Rds called "Buses First!" won the 2000 Energy-wise Transport Award. This programme was (and is) a partnership between the Auckland City Council, Stagecoach NZ, the Auckland Regional Council and the Association.

"Obviously buses are proving successful in contributing towards meeting NZ's energy efficiency targets, and we're proud to be part of the team," Mr Collyns concluded.

Contact John Collyns on 04 499-7334 (work), 04 566-3757 (home) or, if all else fails, (025) 472-155 (mobile).

(ENDS)

John Collyns Executive Director Bus and Coach Association (NZ) Inc P O Box 9336, Wellington, New Zealand

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