Newcastle's public transport stocks are to be boosted by the addition of 30 new stainless steel buses, the first of which was delivered this month.
Their advanced design combines passenger comfort with environmental awareness. The Volvo B12BLE bus chassis meets the latest Euro III exhaust emission standards, making it the cleanest diesel bus on Australian roads.
The buses are being built by Custom Coaches, the largest Australian bus manufacturer with plants in New South Wales, South Australia and Queensland. Stainless steel supply is by ASSDA member Fagersta Steels.
The buses have features to make travel easier for visually impaired passengers and those with restricted mobility. They include air-conditioning, anti-lock brakes and graffiti-resistant seats.
In commissioning the buses, the State Transit Authority of NSW emphasized economical operating and maintenance costs, fuel efficiency and competitive whole of life costs. International experience shows stainless steel delivers on these criteria thanks to its corrosion resistance, durability and weight-saving qualities.
The outlook for stainless in bus construction is positive, as more Australian bus owners and operators are becoming aware of the merits of stainless steel bodies compared with traditionally used coated carbon steel. In response to anticipated demand, Custom Coaches is currently investigating a range of stainless steel grades for future contracts.
This article featured in Australian Stainless magazine - Issue 24, March 2003.