Family-owned New South Wales regional bus operator, Sapphire Coast Buslines, has become the first operator in the country to put Volgren’s new low-floor, seat-belted Urban bus onto the road.
The 57-seat bus, a replacement vehicle under their current contract, will be used for both daily school services and standard route services throughout the Bega Valley Shire, covering towns such as Bermagui, Merimbula and Bega.
Sapphire Coast Buslines Managing Director Anton Klemm said his company was “absolutely delighted” to be the first operator in the country to incorporate the new vehicle into their fleet.
“Two elements that we’ve always prided ourselves on as a company are passenger safety and innovation. We make certain our fleet is technologically up-to-date so that those who ride our buses are as safe as they can possibly be.
“This new bus ticks both of those exceptionally important boxes. It’s safe, it looks great, it caters for a variety of passengers and it offers a high level of comfort compared to other low-floor buses.”
Anton said that in addition to the inclusion of seatbelts, now a mandatory requirement for all rural and regional buses under New South Wales legislation, the bus was specially equipped for passengers with different needs.
“It has the red seats that we’ve been doing for many years now. They’re coloured that way to show that they’re prioritised for those who are visually impaired.”
Another important difference for passengers is improved wheelchair accessibility thanks to a spacious layout.
“The wheelchair spaces are very generous, making them easy to access for older passengers, vision impaired, parents with prams, those with mobility disadvantage and, of course, passengers using wheelchairs.”
The new Australian Design Rules-compliant bus was built at Volgren’s manufacturing facility at Dandenong in Victoria.
“We like the fact that the bodies are put together in Melbourne, meaning they’re not only driven and travelled in by Australians, but built by Australians as well. It’s good to know the buses have provided Australian jobs.
“The body and chassis team [Volvo] communicate well and only contact us at crucial touch points along the process, which makes things easy for us when we’re busy running a demanding business,” said Anton.