In Victoria, the major bus body builder Volgren will create 50 new jobs and 16 traineeships at its South Dandenong facility as it builds zero and low-emission buses for the new Metropolitan Bus Franchise operator, Kinetic.
“Over the past four decades, Volgren has become part of an extensive and thriving south-east Melbourne manufacturing ecosystem, and we plan to build on that by investing in job creation and programs for apprentices and traineeships,” Volgren CEO Thiago Deiro said.
“The Metropolitan Bus Franchise gives a clear indication of new bus requirements and provides certainty for job creation focused on next-generation clean technology vehicles.”
Volgren builds electric buses in Victoria using approximately 100 Australian suppliers, with almost 90 per cent local production for the body build. The company will have the first electric buses for the franchise on the production line in January.
For each new bus built, an estimated 1.5 employees are retained at Volgren and 3.5 employees retained in Victoria’s supply chain.
The new bus franchise, Kinetic, will replace 341 of the current fleet’s 537 buses with zero or low emission vehicles over 9.5 years from February next year.
“Through the new Metropolitan Bus Franchise, we are tackling transport emissions head on while also creating jobs and supporting our manufacturing expertise in emerging technologies,” Victorian minister for Public Transport Ben Carroll said.
“It will be great to see the electric buses start rolling off Volgren’s production line early next year, kickstarting a program to replace diesel buses with zero and low emission vehicles.”
Kinetic will introduce 36 fully electric buses to the network by mid-2025, including five by June next year, jump starting the Victorian government’s pledge for all new public transport buses to be zero emissions from 2025.
“This project is creating employment opportunities for our community with more than 60 jobs and a number of traineeships at the new facility,” member for Dandenong Gabrielle Williams said.
“This project represents another step towards achieving zero emissions.”
Victoria’s first permanent electric bus, built by Volgren, recently hit the network and is being operated by Ventura across six routes from its Ivanhoe Bus Depot. Destinations include the Gowrie Railway Station, Northland Shopping Centre and La Trobe University.