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Quieter, greener buses are coming!

Last week’s Federal budget allocated a significant $115 million towards the construction of a brand new electric bus depot in Macquarie Park, which will service the North Shore.

The funding also includes upgrades to existing bus depots in Willoughby and North Sydney.

The team at North Shore’s bus operator, Busways.

In a recent legislative assembly, the Minister for Transport confirmed there are no plans to move or alter the Willoughby bus depot, but Transport for NSW are working in partnership with the depot operator, Busways, to convert the depot to battery electric technology.

The Willoughby depot will soon have 97 new battery electric buses in operation. As part of the Zero Emissions Bus Program, the Willoughby bus depot is planned to be converted by 2028 with works expected to commence in late 2024/early 2025.

This investment is a major step towards a cleaner, quieter, and more sustainable public transport network for our area. By transitioning the current fleet of over 8,000 buses to electric, the NSW government aims to tackle transportation emissions which are projected to be Australia’s biggest polluter by 2030.

Local Independents, Kylea Tink, Zali Steggali and Dr Sophie Scamps have been pushing the Federal Government for funding for electric buses in the North Shore and Beaches. Source: Instagram

Independent MP for North Sydney, Kylea Tink said:

“I strongly welcome the $115 million in funding for an electric bus depot in Macquarie Park, which includes funding for upgrading depots in Willoughby and North Sydney.”
“This is great news for residents of North Sydney and something I have been advocating strongly for. Electrification of our public transport network will bring quieter, more sustainable transport options, and improve the commute for our community. It will also help lower transport emissions which is critical in the fight against climate change.
“The Transport and Infrastructure Net Zero Consultation Roadmap released this week highlights that without further action, transport will be Australia’s highest emitting sector by 2030. We need to urgently decarbonise our transport sector, and this is a welcome step in the right direction.”

 

The Macquarie Park depot, slated for construction on a former factory site, will be a state-of-the-art facility specifically designed to house and service a fleet of 165 electric buses. The location near the M2 and Lane Cove Road intersection positions the depot to serve commuters across the lower north shore, north-western suburbs, Ryde, and Parramatta.

Busways will also work with Transport for NSW to electrify the fleet, as well as introduce smart technology that helps customers.

Managing Director Byron Rowe said he looked forward to introducing the first zero emissions electric buses in the region.

The Willoughby Bus Depot on Stan St.

“We will continue our highly effective and positive working relationship with the NSW Government, our partner for eight decades, to deliver customer value and introduce innovations that help more people to easily, quickly and safely use the bus network.”

The project is expected to create roughly 160 jobs, including roles for drivers, maintenance personnel, and office staff. This creates valuable opportunities within the local community while supporting the wider electrification initiative.

Construction of the Macquarie Park depot is scheduled to begin early next year and be completed by 2028. This timeline aligns with the first stage of the state’s electric bus plan, which aims to have all 11 depots upgraded and 1200 new electric buses operational by the same year.

We bet the Willoughby residents close to the Stan St bus depot will be counting down the days until the electric buses are up and running. While we haven’t been able to confirm the exact launch date for the new electric buses just yet, we’ll keep you informed of any updates.

How good that Willoughby is charging towards a greener future, one electric bus ride at a time!

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