The latest Australian-made buses have begun operating on the streets and roads of Melbourne.
Made at Volgren’s factory in Dandenong, the buses are the first arrivals from a $16 million order for 100 new buses.
Another 50 buses are currently being built in Ballarat by automotive manufacturer, Oz Press Industries.
The local manufacturing of buses have provided jobs for body builders, panel beaters, aftersales staff, auto electricians and painters.
The buses are a modern addition to Melbourne’s fleet and will be fully accessible with a low floor. The buses also include USB charging facilities, CCTV, and a larger priority seating area.
Not only are the buses assembled in Victoria, but will be built with 60 per cent local content, as mandated under the Victorian government’s Local Jobs First policy.
“We’re modernising, expanding and upgrading Melbourne’s bus fleet, with the single biggest order of replacement buses in Victoria for more than two decades,” said Minister for Public Transport, Melissa Horne.
The buses manufactured at Volgen’s site are built on a Scania chassis and some are already operating across Melbourne for Transdev and Public Transport Victoria.
“Over the past four decades, Volgren has become part of an extensive and thriving south-east Melbourne manufacturing ecosystem,” said Thiago Deiro, chief executive officer of Volgren.
Aftersales support will also be supplied by Volgren.
“The after sales support we provide, for example, helps to keep their buses on the road and increase the whole-of-life value of our product,” said Jim Jones, Volgren’s commercial manager.
According to Volgren, the company is now responsible for almost two in three buses sold across Australia.
“This latest delivery for Transdev is another endorsement of our high-quality vehicles, as well as our ability to handle large-scale orders,” said Thiago.
The Victorian government is supporting local manufacturing with purchase orders for locally made buses, trains, and trams for Melbourne’s public transport network.
“We’re delivering the biggest order of new trains, trams and buses this state has ever seen and ensuring they are built right here in Victoria,” said Horne.