NSW Electric Bus Trials, Western Sydney Wants In
Written by Elliot Nash on 20 July 2020
Hawkesbury Mayor Barry Calvert wants western Sydney to become the trial location for the NSW Government’s new fleet of electric buses.
Hoping to address gaps in the current transport network, the zero-emission buses would “deliver a timely push to the region’s transport network” while also improving air quality in the region.
It comes after Transport for NSW called for further expressions of interest into the electric bus trial in May. Outlined in October last year, State Transport Minister Andrew Constance announced a proposal to transition Sydney’s 8,000 buses to all-electric-powered vehicles as part of the state’s goal of reaching zero net emissions by 2050.
The program aims to “improve the sustainability of transport in NSW, including reduced carbon emissions, operational cost savings, and better customer experience”.
As the president of Western Sydney Regional Organisation of Councils president, Councillor Calvert described the WSROC councils plan of reducing western Sydney’s emissions by 200,000 tonnes of CO2 reductions each year,” or equivalent to “taking 46,000 cars off the road annually.”
While Calvert acknowledges the several “innovative platforms for technology, industry, housing and infrastructure” already within western Sydney, he believes the transport network remains incomplete.
“Intra-regional transport currently falls short, creating longer commute times for resident workers and higher car dependency,” said Calvert, also referencing the area’s comparatively poorer air quality when compared with parts of eastern Sydney.
“Transport planning plays a key role in improving air quality by addressing emissions, as well as realising better livability outcomes that flow from an integrated transport network – including accessibility to jobs and services.
“There is an opportunity here to address these gaps in transport and health while adding to the narrative of a renewed regional vision. Western Sydney is the perfect fit for trialling new transport technologies.”
It comes as Calvert raises concerns about the “NSW Government’s evident commitment to investment in improving transport infrastructure and in growth – particularly in Western Sydney’s Aerotropolis precinct.”
Concerned that projected job losses may worsen the situation, “work in Western Sydney has long been identified as being in deficit”.
According to the Transports for NSW household travel survey, “over 300,000 Western Sydney residents leave the region each day for work. By 2036, this number will have increased to over 400,000.”
Calvert is hopeful the addition of the Electric bus trial may help supplant the “huge gaps” in western Sydney’s transport plan.
Hawkesbury Mayor Barry Calvert says a coming State Government zero emission bus trail may help fill some of the missing links in western Sydney’s public transport network.