New Buses On New Route


NZ Bus’s new UK buses will appear first on the new Central Auckland loop bus services being introduced next month.

Alexander Dennis Ltd won the $51.6m tender bid to supply 1580 vehicles to NZ Bus and now that they have started arriving, the initial shipment will be used on the enhanced routes, expected to be confirmed any day by Auckland Transport after the public consultation.

The buses - called Enviro200 - are a mid sized vehicle which will complement the larger buses which have been the main acquisition of recent years.

For passengers the makers promise the new buses will provide a comfortable ride and good visibility.

The bus layout and use of electronic monitoring systems will also reduce maintenance costs.

The buses seat 24-40 people and include a hybrid option promising 30% reductions in fuel consumption and greenhouse gasses.
The Euro5 engine and relatively light body weight will significantly reduce fuel consumption and emissions.

The UK firm partnered with Tauranga-based Kiwi Bus Builders which has been involved in building the new B Line buses. Kiwi built the buses from kits supplied by the UK factories.

NZ Bus says finally there is movement upwards in Wellington’s bus patronage but it’s only slight.

While patronage in Auckland grew 3% over the first two months of the financial year relative to the same period last year, Wellington showed a slight recovery from the Regional Council’s fare increases of last October and the 2 months were up 1% on last year.

For the last 12 months, Auckland growth was 6% and Wellington’s 1%.




  1. George D says:

    How will this affect operations and scheduling? I presume that these will be used primarily during light parts of the day (500 is a fair number) but also that they will fill rather quickly if used during peak periods.

    I’m sure this has been considered, I’m just curious. We’ll see, I guess.

  2. Kon says:

    Does this bus only have one front entry exit point?

  3. Commuter says:

    @ Kom

    No. It also has a single rear door, ie no Hop boarding which does seem to be a short-sighted specification.

  4. George D says:

    These are the ones that will be used in Auckland, apparently:

    So, rear exit only. But better than no rear doors at all. My heart nearly stopped when I saw the red and white bus above!

    And after the collapse of Designline, and the EMU fiasco, it’s nice to see local transport manufacturing. All such tenders should have local components.

  5. jarbury says:

    PT patronage is booming yet NZ Bus go buy a tonne of small buses. That seems really really stupid.

  6. George D says:

    Jarbury, perhaps they’ll be of use in the future as short distance unscheduled feeders to transport hubs?

    I think they will allow greater flexibility of delivery - there’s an opportunity to use them on scheduled services that attract consistently low ridership, and free up other buses for higher-demand services. That’s the hopeful version!

  7. LucyJH says:

    I remember hearing soembody talk about this - apparently we do actually need more medium sized buses in Auckland to feed the major routes. They are more efficient and do less road damage on the side routes…. NZ Bus will probably shift their big buses to the major routes like dominion road, Great North Road etc.

  8. AKT says:

    @Jarbury Having these sized buses mean it’s feasible to run routes like the Outer Loop. We already have medium sized buses doing the 006 route which takes in part of the Outer Loop. It opens up more possibilities.

  9. richard says:

    For most of the day the three routes by my house have buses carrying four or five passengers! I think buses of this size would be much better than the lumbering monsters on the runs. Even this size is too big for some routes and twelve seaters would be adequate!

    I saw photos in a railway publication showing small size buses, fitted with destination blinds servicing a local railway England…..ideal

    I suppose the buses will be plastered with NZ Bus grotesque livery and a billboard rear end?

  10. Andrew says:

    By my calculations, that works out at $32,600 per bus. Have I missed something?

  11. Bryan says:

    Andrew, the first $50m order is for 120 buses. I think 1580 would be the entire NZ Bus fleet.

  12. KarlHansen says:

    Actually, I am with Jarbury - the main biggest cost item of running a bus system is in the staff costs (drivers!) - only some way down the line you have fuel and maintenance costs. There are only limited savings in a smaller bus (except, presumably in the initial purchase cost). So I agree, ideally, larger buses should have been bought, not smaller ones.

  13. KarlHansen says:

    @Richard - as long as we have peak traffic, we need to size the size of our buses in the bus fleet for that! It may cost a wee bit of extra fuel to carry a slightly larger bus around the rest of the day that is emptier, relatively speaking - but that is nothing if in the morning, the same small bus leaves 10-20 extra people at the bus stop who can’t get on, and they instead drive because they don’t want to deal with overcrowding. Major “increase” in fuel consumption.

    BTW - the staff cost reason is why things like neighbourhood taxis and on-call buses never really took off in the west. In 3rd world countries, you see them all the time, but there, the driver works for a pittance compared to the world-market fuel price, which is much higher share of the costs there.


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