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Taupō Gets Its First Electric Bus – Services Begin Today

The Taupō Connector service has its first electric bus thanks to a partnership between Tranzit Coachlines Central, the Waikato Regional and Taupō District Councils.

The brand new Taupō Connector electric bus will be cleaner, quieter and emission free: a sign of things to come for the rest of the public transport network. It features distinctive blue livery and carries up to 56 passengers at a time: 27 seated, 27 standing and two in wheelchairs. On request, the bus can tilt towards the curb and extend a ramp to provide easier access for passengers.

Tranzit Coachlines will operate the bus that has a 281kWh battery pack giving it a range of approximately 300km, USB chargers throughout, and it will be charged at Tranzit’s Taupō depot.

At a special launch held at the Taupō Visitor Information Centre on Friday, this new bus was formally blessed by the Reverend Peace Mitchell while Taupō Mayor David Trewavas along with Tranzit Group Managing Director Paul Snelgrove, officially cut the ribbon before the bus took invited guests on a short trip around the lakeside township.

Mayor David Trewavas said the new bus will be a fantastic addition to the district’s public transport network.

“The 33 Connector service is a great way to get around,” Mayor David says, “and with the new electric bus it just got even better! This is a great initiative by Taupō District Council in partnership with Waikato Regional Council, and because the new bus can also carry bicycles it works really well with our fantastic, shared pathway and cycling network. And, for the first week of operation you can ride the bus for free – so come on Taupō, get behind this, whether it’s for you commute or just to do the shopping.”

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Tranzit Coachlines Central Manager Connor Mear says his team is proud to be introducing Taupō’s first electric bus and continuing Tranzit’s journey of decarbonising public transport beyond New Zealand’s major centres.

“Based on our experiences of introducing electric buses into Wellington, Auckland and Palmerston North, we are confident passengers in Taupō will enjoy a smoother, quieter journey and feel good about catching the bus,” he says. “It’s also great to partner with the Councils who are taking steps towards transitioning to a sustainable bus fleet in this beautiful part of the central North Island.”

At the launch, Tranzit’s Managing Director Paul Snelgrove said even though the New Zealand, family-owned company’s history goes back almost 100 years, its foray into electric buses began in 2014 when they began researching the best way to transition their fleet of predominately diesel buses to zero emissions. He said after opting for 100% battery powered electric buses, Tranzit introduced the first electric bus into New Zealand in 2018 and today operates 46 electric buses in the North Island and has significantly invested in charging infrastructure.

Mr Snelgrove said by the end of 2024, Tranzit will have more than doubled its electric bus fleet and is particularly excited about growing public transport in the Waikato region.

The 33 Connector service travels between Wharewaka and Nukuhau six days a week. People can see for themselves and ride Taupō’ new electric service for free during its first week, or any time in December by grabbing one of 250 complimentary tickets available at the Taupō Customer and Visitor Information Centre.

ENDS

Note to Editors: About Tranzit:

  • Tranzit Group is an award-winning, fourth-generation family-owned transport and tourism company operating throughout Aotearoa, New Zealand.
  • With its head office still in Wairarapa, Tranzit is preparing to celebrate its centenary.
  • Employing 2000 team members and operating more than 2000 vehicles nationwide, Tranzit is a significant contributor to the economy.
  • In many parts of New Zealand, Tranzit delivers Ministry of Education school bus contracted services as well as contracted school runs for individual schools.
  • Tranzit operates public transport services in Wellington, Hutt Valley, Porirua, Wairarapa, Manawatu, Whanganui, Taupō, Tokoroa, Taranaki and Auckland.
  • Tranzit is behind some of New Zealand’s most well-known travel and transport brands including InterCity, Cross Country Rentals, Tranzit Coachlines, Tranzit Tours, Pacific Tourways (Auckland) Limited, Rite Price Rentals and Bus Travel Ltd.
  • Tranzit is committed to a sustainable future and owns and operates a growing electric bus fleet in the North Island. To support Tranzit’s e-bus fleet, the company has invested in and built charging infrastructure. This currently stands at a total of 2,820kW – enough to power 3,400 homes or approximately the town of Foxton.

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