This week Metrobus, the City of Johannesburg’s bus company, issued a tender to purchase between 125 and 175 new buses.
“We are very excited to tell our passengers and the residents of Johannesburg that, we will be able to replace more than one third of our aging fleet with modern, low-floor and dual fuel green buses” said Lawrence Maqekoane, the acting MD of Metrobus.
“These buses will advance the City’s clean, fuel job creation and low carbon economy agenda” he added. Tenderers will be required to maximise local content, thus creating local jobs, and the buses have been specified to use biogas and diesel.
The decision by the City, for Metrobus to use biogas is as a result of a number of studies that have indicate enormous potential for the production of biogas from City waste sources such as landfill sites, sewer plants and grass cutting by City Parks.
In addition the City is working in partnership with the University of Johannesburg and the South African National Energy Development Institute (SANEDI) to refine the technology for bio-digesters that can use grass and other non-food agricultural products to produce fuel. The production of these crops has significant job creation potential without harming food security.
The procurement of these buses will be going hand-in-hand with the modernisation of the fare collection system and the restructuring of the relationship between Metrobus and the City of Johannesburg.
“We want to make sure that when the new buses arrive, they can be reliable and be part of the City’s offering of quality, affordable public transport”, said Maqekoane.
It is further envisaged that these new buses will operate at increased frequencies and over longer operating hours along a number of key public transport corridors, thus supporting the City’s transit-orientated development strategy.