Lord Mayor Campbell Newman today kick-started the construction of a new $19 million bus-building facility at Eagle Farm that will deliver hundreds of new buses to Brisbane’s streets.
The Lord Mayor said the joint venture between Brisbane City Council and Volgren would help him deliver on his pledge of 500 new buses this Council term.
The 2.65ha site at TradeCoast Central, Eagle Farm, would build 150 buses a year for Brisbane City Council and other bus operators.
“At its peak of operation this facility will be able to produce at least three new buses per week,” Cr Newman said. “The first bus will roll off the production line around February.”
Council bus patronage has grown 40 per cent in four years. Brisbane buses carry about 71 million passengers a year, about 10 million more than the southeast Queensland rail network.
Cr Newman said the new facility would enable council to halt bus building at its factory in inner-west Toowong later this year. Work on the first bus would begin in December as per a 10-year agreement between Council and Volgren signed late last year.
Council’s commitment to the facility is $6.7 million in land.
“This new facility is close to the port and easily accessible from the Gateway Motorway, which makes it a much better position for bus building than suburban Toowong,” he said.
Volgren Australia’s Managing Director, Peter Dale, said the facility would be the most modern bus manufacturing plant in Australia, producing hundreds of state-of-the art buses for the people of Brisbane.
“Today is an important and exciting day for us at Volgren,” Mr Dale said.
“We have been building buses in partnership with Brisbane City Council for eight years, and this new facility marks the next stage of a truly successful partnership.”
Mr Dale said Volgren buses were built using a unique aluminium system, which makes the buses stronger, lighter and more energy efficient than traditional steel buses.
Over the last two weeks, the Lord Mayor has delivered on a range of public transport projects and enhancements including a $56 million bus depot at Willawong which was Brisbane’s first new bus depot in 15 years.
Earlier this year Cr Newman launched Brisbane’s 1000th bus and its 14th CityCat, and announced 436 new bus services.