Michael Christian and Wayne Pontell with the new bus. Photo: ANDREW PERRYMAN.

COMMUTERS will see quieter and more efficient bus travel next week, with a new hybrid green machine set to hit Bendigo streets.

The new bus, being trialled for the next three months, uses a dual hybrid diesel model, with its core component a kinetic energy restoration system which generates and stores energy from braking, to then power the vehicle forward.

It starts travel in hybrid, moves to a combination of hybrid and diesel, before the diesel takes over once the bus reaches beyond 30 kilometres per hour, also acting as backup to the hybrid operation.

The Volvo bus is expected to bring up to 40 per cent in fuel reduction.

Fleet Manager at Christian’s Bus Company Michael Christian said Bendigo’s network and hot summer temperatures will work well to test the suitability of the bus, with success meaning hybrid buses could become a permanent fixture on the city’s routes long-term.

“The industry is always trying to produce smarter, greener, cleaner technology, so this is certainly a step in that direction,” he said.

“Global warming is a real topic, and we’re doing what we can to play our part, by firstly running the public transport network to provide an alternative mode of transport to getting in the car, but also running fuel-efficient vehicles.”

The most notable difference to other buses in the fleet, despite its vibrant colour, is its sound, being significantly quieter while driving along, and becoming silent when stopped at traffic lights as it switches off.

– Sam Kane