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Environment Canterbury accelerates move to new, low emission buses

Environment Canterbury’s new bus contract procurement process has been completed with all operator contracts signed. The new contracts will reduce public transport CO2 emissions by 14% within their first year with the introduction of 25 new electric buses and 39 new low emission Euro 6 buses.

The procurement process has resulted in the award of 80% of the Greater Christchurch urban bus market to Go Bus. Red Bus retain 20% of the urban market and Ritchies Transport will operate the school services contracts.

Deputy Chair Peter Scott said that the award of these contracts represents a significant step forward for ratepayers of Greater Christchurch, who will benefit from environmental, service and financial benefits under the terms of the new contracts.

He says the combination of new electric and low emission vehicles with the existing fleet is deliberate.

“In considering the appropriate use of ratepayer funds, our transition to a zero-emissions fleet is best achieved via this low emissions pathway, enabling us to balance the need to invest in more buses to make public transport more attractive and carry more people, while also progressively implementing zero-emission vehicles.”

Peter Scott says “These contracts provide us with the ability to migrate to newer electric or hydrogen technologies in the coming years. The impact of purchasing an entire fleet of vehicles with the same technology today would be fiscally irresponsible for the future, as new, better technologies come online. This is why, after the initial investment, the introduction of an additional 28 new vehicles will be staggered over the next two years with further vehicle replacements in years 3-5 of the contracts.”