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New Tassie made Metro buses are making their mark

Jeremy Rockliff, Minister for Infrastructure

The Hodgman majority Liberal Government is delivering on our long-term plan to create jobs, boost our manufacturing industries and improving the lives of Tasmanians.

The roll-out of the new Tasmanian-built Metro bus fleet meets all these criteria with more than 40 extra jobs across a dozen companies building these new buses in Wynyard which are more comfortable, accessible and environmentally friendly.

Elphinstone Engineering Solutions is doing a magnificent job building these buses with 26 new jobs at its Wynyard manufacturing plant and other local companies leveraging off this project to improve their skills and create new roles.

Metro Tasmania has also enjoyed its 5th consecutive year of passenger growth in 2017-18 with 8.29 million first boardings – a growth of 1.7 per cent for year-on-year comparison.

The growth in adult passenger numbers was the standout with a seven per cent increase which can largely be attributed to the new Hobart Network launched in 2016 which helps take cars off the roads and address traffic congestion by providing commuters with an attractive and reliable travel option. 

The 100 new Tasmanian-made buses are being built at a rate of about one every 10 days and there are already 17 operating in Hobart and four in Launceston. This is a $45 million project over four years and is the single largest public transport investment in Tasmania’s history.

Every new vehicle is air conditioned and, importantly, has low floor access which makes them 100 per cent wheelchair friendly and a more attractive option for Tasmanians.

These new buses lower the average age of Metro’s fleet, which was among the oldest in Australia, improve reliability and reduce emissions and maintenance costs.

This once in a generation investment is only possible due to the Hodgman Liberal Government’s strong financial management and a vision to invest in modern public transport and the manufacturing jobs of the future.

The Tasmanian Government has also committed $2 million over four years to establish a ferry service between Hobart and Bellerive.

Metro Tasmania has engaged a consultant to complete public consultation, public forums, targeted interviews and an online survey. This report is due to be submitted to the Government later this month.