Author Topic: AVASS Matilda trial electric buses  (Read 1425 times)

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Offline Barry Drive

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AVASS Matilda trial electric buses
« on: December 01, 2016, 05:31:08 PM »
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Since it's December, the three AVASS electric buses are due for delivery shortly.

Offline triumph

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Re: AVASS Matilda trial electric buses
« Reply #1 on: December 01, 2016, 09:15:17 PM »
Transport and Avass seem remarkably coy about Matilda. The Minister's announcement provides a link to Transport for more information, but nothing shows up when the link is followed and query terms tried in search. Likewise Avass are saying very little (at least that I can find). They do mention 'an Australian capital city' in regard to Matilda.

Is this because a grand media splash announcement is planned when the vehicles are delivered? Or, is it an indication that things are not going well?

The Minister's announcement indicated that depot charging arrangements together with driver and mechanical staff training are (obviously) involved. Has anything happened on this front yet? The announcement implies early service on the one hand versus several months training etc on the other hand.

Have I missed something?

The silence seems deafening.

Offline aidenh37

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Re: AVASS Matilda trial electric buses
« Reply #2 on: December 01, 2016, 10:29:15 PM »
It could be so the ACT Government doesn't have the media knocking on their door every few days with complaits about minor things that will no doubt stir up the public.

For example: what positive things did the media say about Sydney's Waratah trains? Not much. It was complaint after complaint after complaint. Even though no matter what the customer will always love the newest experience.


Offline Barry Drive

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Re: AVASS Matilda trial electric buses
« Reply #3 on: December 02, 2016, 11:51:37 AM »
Valid points. All I'm relying on is the budget and media statements which said the buses will be delivered in December and in service by January.

If nothing arrives by the end of the month, then it would be the time to start asking questions. Until then, it's just a matter of waiting.

Offline Barry Drive

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Re: AVASS Matilda trial electric buses
« Reply #4 on: December 31, 2016, 12:23:17 PM »
Never mind, I went to Tuggeranong Depot today while I was out, had a good look around, but didn't see them. (original thought) So either they are at Belconnen, or already on the roads.

That's what I was thinking at least till I asked someone in the ACTION office. "they don't arrive till late next week, which depot is unconfirmed"
Maybe it's time to start asking questions. Nothing has been sighted or reported.

Although one or more may have arrived but then been kept away from nosy gunzels.

Offline triumph

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Re: AVASS Matilda trial electric buses
« Reply #5 on: January 05, 2017, 08:13:26 PM »
AVASS web site has now added the last September announcement to its site under 'Media and News'.

Offline Bus 400

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Re: AVASS Matilda trial electric buses
« Reply #6 on: February 08, 2017, 08:46:31 PM »
We've had our first look at the electric buses today, no idea how long til we see these buses in Canberra. 

https://twitter.com/9NewsMelb/status/829229959189299200?s=09





Offline Sylvan Loves Buses

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Re: AVASS Matilda trial electric buses
« Reply #7 on: February 08, 2017, 09:34:41 PM »
Well the word that I have from ACTION when I called them a few weeks ago was that they will be delivered around the end of February, and then the 12 month trial will begin sometime within March.

Offline Stan butler

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Re: AVASS Matilda trial electric buses
« Reply #8 on: February 08, 2017, 11:22:43 PM »
I am curious what noise the electric buses will make?  By their nature, electric motors are quiet, and this is a problem in pedestrian areas. So do the electric buses make a simulated noise so people can hear them - especially those people who seem to think they can walk anywhere in civic interchange while looking at their phones?

I wouldn't be surprised though if the electric buses don't come - even after the preliminary trial and publicity. They are expensive and some bureaucrat may think diesel driven Scanias are a better buy.

Offline triumph

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Re: AVASS Matilda trial electric buses
« Reply #9 on: February 09, 2017, 08:52:30 AM »
The noise made by the AVASS Matilda might be expected to be similar to a modern trolley bus, the nearest examples being in Wellington, NZ (but apparently not for much longer). Apparently quietness is not a problem there. The potential issue mainly relates to the silent start as opposed to the diesel engine idling (indicating a 'live' vehicle) and rev up preparatory to getting underway. Once moving, there are various noises such as from the tyres on the road, motor hum, sqeaks/rattles (?), etc. which would not be less than that from a modern quality sedan, so moving electric bus quietness should not be an addition to existing issues. I lived in a trolley bus using city (Hobart) and the silent aspects were then never cited or commented on as a problem, rather it was seen as an advantage.

 The point about wandering pedestrians is a real worry. I (not wandering) had a very near miss at Westfield Belconnen that could have been much worse if an electric bus had been involved. Briefly, a bus approaching platform 1 had paused just before the stop line at the light controlled pedestrian crossing to avoid illegal (wandering) crossers. The driver didn't notice the lights changed during the pause and proceeded against the red light. I had just stepped onto the crossing WITH the now displayed 'Walk' sign (and audible signal) when I heard the bus engine revs increase and leapt back out of its path just in the nick of time. ACTION never identified the driver who clearly didn't notice pedestrians now using the crossing. I might not have noticed it in time had it been an electric bus. Nor might the many illegal/wandering crossers making a run for it notice, which will add to the every day problems for the bus drivers.
.

Offline Busnerd

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Re: AVASS Matilda trial electric buses
« Reply #10 on: February 09, 2017, 11:21:14 AM »
I would imagine it as how 'triumph' describes it. The engines are basically silent in electric buses however traction motors, air conditioning, tyres and the gearbox all still make noise. Granted the trolley buses in Wellington also have the noise of the pole running across the wires which these wouldn't.

Perhaps the ACT Government should run a safety campaign in the interchanges when these vehicles are launched reminding pedestrians that buses approaching may be silent.

Offline Stan butler

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Re: AVASS Matilda trial electric buses
« Reply #11 on: February 09, 2017, 05:54:53 PM »
I would imagine it as how 'triumph' describes it. The engines are basically silent in electric buses however traction motors, air conditioning, tyres and the gearbox all still make noise.

Correct me if I am wrong, but I don't think electric buses have gearboxes...

Not discounting what you are saying, but plenty of people walk around the interchanges with headphones on,or lost in a phone call or simply gazing at their screen - basically, they are on autopilot.  Plus, with the background noise of people talking, other older buses and whatever other noise, then I think many will simply not hear an electric bus coming....

I agree, an educational program needs to be put in place...


Offline The Love Guru

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Re: AVASS Matilda trial electric buses
« Reply #12 on: February 10, 2017, 10:05:56 AM »
Hmmmmm. Electric buses might be good for genetic cleansing. Kill off all the stupid people with no road sense and only those with road sense will be left to reproduce.

Let's not go down the lowest common denominator route. Set the bar at a level and cull those who don't meet the minimum. Ie, pay attention when walking on to a road and don't be such an ignorant tool to expect that a vehicle will just stop because of your inattention.

If it's good enough to cull Kangaroos for environmental reasons then the same should be done with people who are stupid to improve the environment in urban areas.

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Offline Bus 400

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Re: AVASS Matilda trial electric buses
« Reply #13 on: February 10, 2017, 02:04:02 PM »
Hmmmmm. Electric buses might be good for genetic cleansing. Kill off all the stupid people with no road sense and only those with road sense will be left to reproduce.

Let's not go down the lowest common denominator route. Set the bar at a level and cull those who don't meet the minimum. Ie, pay attention when walking on to a road and don't be such an ignorant tool to expect that a vehicle will just stop because of your inattention.

If it's good enough to cull Kangaroos for environmental reasons then the same should be done with people who are stupid to improve the environment in urban areas.

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While I'm going off track a little, you're forgetting these type of people are running this country. So they'll introduce blame on the driver.

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Offline Busnerd

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Re: AVASS Matilda trial electric buses
« Reply #14 on: February 10, 2017, 11:27:53 PM »
I have consulted with a smart friend who says they do not have gearbox which I was unsure if they did but he confirms they do not, so remove my gearbox noise and replace it with my other comment of traction noise.

Offline The Love Guru

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Re: AVASS Matilda trial electric buses
« Reply #15 on: February 14, 2017, 11:54:05 PM »
I have consulted with a smart friend who says they do not have gearbox which I was unsure if they did but he confirms they do not, so remove my gearbox noise and replace it with my other comment of traction noise.
They don't have a gearbox as such, however they will still have reduction gearing to achieve optimum road speed to motor revolutions ratio.

Some electric vehicles do have a gearbox, be it a 2 or even 3 speed. For those interested in the technology, the racing series Formula E has cars with a single ratio as well as 2 and 3 speed boxes. In that formula its about speed and efficiency so it was interesting to note just how closely matched all the types were.

Back to buses, due to the large amount of torque from an electric motor at 0rpm and the relatively slow rotation speed of the hubs even at max speed, a gearbox isn't required.

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Offline triumph

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Re: AVASS Matilda trial electric buses
« Reply #16 on: February 15, 2017, 02:49:39 PM »
I believe the vehicles are here in Canberra, with service entry most likely some time in March. No doubt there will be a media splash just prior to that.

Offline Sylvan Loves Buses

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Re: AVASS Matilda trial electric buses
« Reply #17 on: March 04, 2017, 02:39:54 PM »
Well it's March now, anymore news?

I'll call ACTION sometime in the next week or so anyway for the things I can't ask here, but have you guys had any updates (on twitter and such)?

Offline triumph

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Re: AVASS Matilda trial electric buses
« Reply #18 on: March 05, 2017, 08:36:24 PM »
Whilst I was assured the buses are here, it seems either I was mis-informed or they are well under wraps. I would not have expected them to appear early in March, and it is quite possible (given Gov bureaucracy) that March expectations for a political introduction event will become April. We will just have to be patient.

Offline Stan butler

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Re: AVASS Matilda trial electric buses
« Reply #19 on: March 05, 2017, 09:49:23 PM »
I am still with the belief that the electric buses are not coming. I have the feeling that someone in government has changed their mind about them.

I'm happy to be proven wrong though. A call to ACTION may confirm this but if they say to call someone else in the ACT government then that shows things have changed.

Just my belief but again, happy to be proven wrong.

Offline Busfanatic101

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Re: AVASS Matilda trial electric buses
« Reply #20 on: March 05, 2017, 10:53:55 PM »
I am still with the belief that the electric buses are not coming. I have the feeling that someone in government has changed their mind about them.


Sure they'll come with the more recent twitter videos and stuff. We just need to wait patiently- all will be revealed in due course

Offline triumph

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Re: AVASS Matilda trial electric buses
« Reply #21 on: March 07, 2017, 12:23:17 PM »
Further to 'reply' 8 where concern about wandering pedestrians was mentioned. Its getting worse.

Scene at Westfield, Belconnen, bus station recently. Pedestrian, engrossed in mobile phone, ambles on to light controlled crossing from Mall side against 'Don't Walk'. Bus approaching plat 1 is close, driver brakes heavily, blows horn. Pedestrian half glances at bus and then arrogantly continues to amble slowly across and concentrate on phone, just as before. Seems the bus driver can like it or lump it. Time for a bit of policing I think.

Offline Sylvan Loves Buses

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Re: AVASS Matilda trial electric buses
« Reply #22 on: March 19, 2017, 05:27:32 PM »
Ok, so the news I have now from calling ACTION is that they have the buses (which depot was not disclosed), but they're holding off from the trial as they're fixing up the buses specifics and stuff so they are road ready.
So any press release or whatever is not yet happening. The women I spoke to said that the trial may even be starting in April, but she said she'll update me soon if anything changes.

Offline Busfanatic101

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Re: AVASS Matilda trial electric buses
« Reply #23 on: March 19, 2017, 07:44:49 PM »
Ok, so the news I have now from calling ACTION is that they have the buses (which depot was not disclosed), but they're holding off from the trial as they're fixing up the buses specifics and stuff so they are road ready.
So any press release or whatever is not yet happening. The women I spoke to said that the trial may even be starting in April, but she said she'll update me soon if anything changes.


All 3 of them?

Offline triumph

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Re: AVASS Matilda trial electric buses
« Reply #24 on: March 19, 2017, 10:59:26 PM »
Transport Canberra has missed a great publicity opportunity. Should have had them enter service tomorrow on the new Airport service.

Offline Sylvan Loves Buses

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Re: AVASS Matilda trial electric buses
« Reply #25 on: March 21, 2017, 03:20:54 PM »
All 3 of them?

What I remember her saying was;
Quote
They have 'them'
so by saying 'them' I would guess that does mean all 3 are, but I was asking something else at the time, so it slipped my mind to think if she meant all 3.

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Offline ajw373

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Re: AVASS Matilda trial electric buses
« Reply #27 on: March 31, 2017, 05:24:24 PM »
Thought it was reported on this very website that they were here. Well obviously not!

Offline Bus 400

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Re: AVASS Matilda trial electric buses
« Reply #28 on: March 31, 2017, 07:27:00 PM »
No idea what happened, but the buses were due in December 2016. Still not ready by April 2017 & they wanted a 3 month extension, to July 2017. With that contract set to expire in November 2017.

Might need a new subtitle in the Fleet wiki for buses never delivered.......

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Offline triumph

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Re: AVASS Matilda trial electric buses
« Reply #29 on: March 31, 2017, 11:52:50 PM »
Yes, I reported that I believed the Matildas were in Canberra. I was confident enough to post after receiving advice from a Transport Canberra official.

The post arose from an enquiry I placed through the Access Canberra feedback system in which I quoted the Minister's Press Release, pointed out that TC had nothing I could find, despite the advice in the Release, and mentioned the preparation details referred to in the Release. As introduction to service was overdue, I asked about progress, if any, and even wondered if the supplier had failed to meet the arrangement.

The result, was a reponse in my AccessCanberra file, requesting me to ring a certain official. In phone conversation with that Transport Canberra official it seemed that person thought I had been sent an email response but I never received any email, nor was it in my Access file. The request to contact by phone was to update the email information (which didn't get). The official assured me, and re-assured me that all was going well and, specifically confirmed that the vehicles were actually here and it was expected they would be be launched in late March or possibly April.

I am far from happy at being officially misinformed and equally unhappy that, because the substantive response was verbal, I have no written record of that response. But I did acknowledge    it through AccessCanberra in writing thanking for the phoned response and commenting on how good this trial should be. So there was ample opportunity to correct any mis-information.




Offline Sylvan Loves Buses

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Re: AVASS Matilda trial electric buses
« Reply #30 on: April 01, 2017, 12:28:49 AM »
Huh, that's odd.

I called the contact I have in ACTION (who is in direct contact with the information about these buses), and she said "there's no more information at present".
Was not expecting that. Must've been decided just after my call, esp considering the time of the article.

Oh well, now we keep waiting then

Offline Bus 400

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Re: AVASS Matilda trial electric buses
« Reply #31 on: April 01, 2017, 04:43:15 PM »
There is nothing to say the buses weren't in Canberra. The buses could of failed the acceptance tests. There are certain conditions that the first of a bus type are actually tested on selected roads around Canberra.

The bus manufacturer may of asked for another 3 months to fix this. Unless your one of the very few to know, we'll never know. Since Transport Canberra never accepted the buses, they may of been sent back the same day.

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Offline Barry Drive

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Re: AVASS Matilda trial electric buses
« Reply #32 on: April 01, 2017, 04:47:05 PM »
The article implies they were never completed at Avalon.

Quote
They would have by now had the buses if they'd given us this extension but obviously because they cancelled the contract we haven't emphasised that project, so they're not ready now, but they would have been

Which seems to entirely contradict the assertion that "we have them (in Canberra)".

Offline Barry Drive

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Re: AVASS Matilda trial electric buses
« Reply #33 on: April 11, 2017, 09:27:50 PM »
I am far from happy at being officially misinformed

Remember the "we have approval for the bike racks" statement? It's not the first time they've stated "alternative facts".

Offline Busfanatic101

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Re: AVASS Matilda trial electric buses
« Reply #34 on: June 05, 2017, 06:54:08 PM »



"We will trial alternate fuel electric buses as part of our bus fleet"
Will they now... Has there been anything more about the outcome of the new tender? Surely it would have been quicker at this rate to have just kept the original contract...