Veolia Transdev - Shorelink Buses, a division of global transport company Veolia Transdev, is recording better fuel economy, improved performance, and more efficiency since adding three new Iveco buses fitted with Allison T375R fully automatic transmissions to its bus fleet earlier this year.
SYDNEY, Australia - Veolia Transdev - Shorelink Buses, one of the largest non-government bus operators in the Sydney basin, recently added three Allison-equipped, Cummins-powered Iveco buses, a Euro 4 version in late 2010 and two Euro 5 versions in February 2011. It is estimated that the three buses have saved Veolia Transdev - Shorelink Buses close to 6,000 litres of fuel compared with the other newer buses in the fleet and have covered close to 150,000 km since joining the Shorelink fleet, working double shifts seven days a week, with only regularly scheduled maintenance taking them off the road.
General Manager of Veolia Transdev - Shorelink Buses Tony Ralph says the purchase of the new Iveco buses equipped with Allison transmissions came after regular and exhaustive market analysis.
“We go through this exercise every few years, looking at all different types and brands of bus, analysing features, benefits, maintenance, fuel consumption and capacity, amongst other things,” said Mr. Ralph. “We also study the various body builders to ensure that we can source the best overall package, and the needs and wants of our mechanics who maintain the buses are considered as we research the ease of maintenance, service intervals, and cost of replacement parts for each variation.”
He added that while the Iveco buses equipped with Allison transmissions and Cummins engines emerged from the analysis as the best option, the company’s drivers were apprehensive about the switch and were initially resistant to the change.
“The drivers offered some resistance, but since the three new Allison-equipped Iveco buses have joined the fleet, the drivers have commented that those buses are far more responsive and smoother shifting than the other buses in our fleet,” Mr. Ralph noted.
“The biggest factor for Shorelink has been the 10-15% improvement in fuel consumption from the new buses, which are already recording regular fuel economy of around 42 litres per 100 km compared with an average of between 47 and 50 litres per 100 km from other newer buses in our fleet. The evidence is quite favourable, and it certainly makes a huge difference across the fleet in terms of fuel costs. However, we will need at least a full 12 months to assess all the factors, including maintenance and repair costs. But at this stage they surely look like a very viable option,” commented Mr. Ralph.
Veolia Transdev - Shorelink Buses operates in one of the most challenging regions of Sydney, servicing the upper North Shore of Australia’s biggest city. This area is marked by extremely hilly terrain with deep valleys and high traffic density. Shorelink covers the area from the regional hub of Chatswood, north to the Hawkesbury River with additional routes taking upper north shore commuters into the Sydney CBD and to the Macquarie Shopping Centre and University precinct.
“Our regular routes are traditionally hard on engines and transmissions, with some tough climbs in what are some of the highest parts of Sydney, but the Allison-equipped Iveco buses are coping extremely well,” Mr. Ralph concluded.
The Shorelink fleet comprises approximately 100, mostly Scania, buses with an average age of 10 years, while the oldest vehicle on the fleet is 23 years old.