Elphinstone unveils first of 100 new MTT buses
Metro Tasmania’s first new bus rolls off the production line at Elphinstone’s Southern Prospect plant. The first of Metro Tasmania’s 100 new buses rolled out for its first showing on Thursday at Elphinstone’s Southern Prospect plant near Wynyard. The sleek vehicle, kitted out in Metro livery and surrounded by the engineers, was welcomed by Infrastructure Minister Jeremy Rockliff.
“These buses were built in Tasmania, by Tasmanians, for Tasmanians.”
Kelly Elphinstone, Elphinstone Pty Ltd Managing Director.
Speaking at the christening, Mr Rockliff congratulated Metro Tasmania for its foresight and vision in taking on a home-grown product. He was impressed that from Thursday, Elphinstone planned to complete one new bus every seven to eight working days until the 100 new vehicles were delivered.
Mr Rockliff said the $31 million contract was significant because a local Tasmanian firm had won it, thereby giving 26 people jobs and supporting local suppliers.
“Our benchmark for accessing local product is 30 per cent, but this contract is taking about 38 per cent. The flow-on effects are much greater than the staff who are building the buses.”
He noted that the new vehicles would replace almost half the Metro Tasmania fleet of 220 buses over the next three years.
Metro Tasmania chief executive officer Megan Morse said the company was experiencing significant growth in Hobart and most of the buses would be heading south to meet the demand for public transport.
Growing demand for buses
Each new vehicle would seat 51 people, and reflecting the growing pressure on public transport in Hobart, had hand straps for standing passengers.
The new buses also had a distinctive black area on the front just above ground level to cut painting and repair maintenance, and the driver’s area was better designed to meet their needs.
Bustech chief executive officer Anthony Roder said his Queensland-based company had not changed the basic design for the buses, and they would meet the stricter Euro 6 standards for fuel emissions, with multiple catalyzers.
He thanked the government for its decision to support Australian designed and manufactured products.
“It’s not only a proven success, but gives us a chance to replicate our product outside Queensland.
“The future of our partnership with Elphinstone has given us the opportunity to keep providing our services. It gives us the chance to export over to the ‘mainland’ and possibly internationally.”