A blue electric UOW bus is parked at the bus stop on Northfields Avenue, with the sign for the shuttle in the foreground. Photo: Michael Gray

New electric buses to reduce emissions on campus

New electric buses to reduce emissions on campus

Two zero-emissions buses part of UOW's ongoing work towards carbon neutrality

The University of Wollongong (UOW) is reaffirming its commitment to a more sustainable future with a new fleet of electric buses creating a cleaner and quieter environment on campus.

The zero emissions buses, which are operating on Wollongong Campus on routes 9 and 9N, also known as the North Gong Shuttle, will contribute to UOW’s goal to achieve carbon neutrality by 2030.

The change to UOW’s valuable public transport network came about after the University opened tenders late last year for new bus services, with one of the specifications for an environmentally friendly option. Previously, the University has had hybrid shuttle buses operating on campus.

Premier Illawarra were the successful tenderer with two brand-new electric low floor city buses built to Australian specifications and provided by Foton Mobility Distribution.

UOW Acting Vice-Chancellor and President Professor David Currow said the zero-emissions electric buses were an exciting and important addition to the campus.

“When it comes to sustainability and carbon neutrality, every decision matters. The electric buses will significantly reduce emissions from transport on campus and we are proud to be taking another step towards carbon neutrality,” Professor Currow said. “I encourage every student and staff member to use public transport when possible and to jump on one of our new electric buses.”

The driver of the UOW electric bus with the bus's electric dashboard in the background. Photo: Michael Gray

The switch to electric buses was a collaboration with Foton Mobility Distribution, Premier Illawarra, and UOW.

Foton Mobility Distribution CEO Neil Wang said the company’s vehicles would have a tangible impact on the campus environment, reducing noise and pollution.

“The opportunity to partner with a major transport operator such as Premier Illawarra and my old alma mater, UOW, makes me very proud. Together, we will not only be showcasing the great qualities of the proven Foton Zero Emissions buses but also advancing the transition to net zero in the Illawarra.”

Premier Illawarra Director John King said the collaboration with UOW and Foton Mobility Distribution would benefit the Illawarra and create a cleaner environment for all.

“Premier Illawarra are thrilled to have been awarded an opportunity to showcase the first electric buses in the Illawarra region on a route that provides a key link for students and staff between UOW and North Wollongong Station. Our hope is that these new buses will encourage the uptake of public transport when travelling to and from Wollongong Campus, limiting carbon emissions from private vehicles as well as congestion on the road,” Mr King said.

“We are eager to continue our relationship with UOW and Foton in learning more about renewable buses and the part they play in our greater renewable transport strategy in the years to come.”

A red UOW electric bus is parked outside Early Start. Photo: Michael Gray

UOW’s journey to carbon neutrality includes addressing direct and indirect emissions.

UOW has also introduced other ongoing sustainability measures across its campuses, including recycling initiatives, water refill stations, electronic waste collection and mobile phone recycling, biodiversity initiatives, reducing plastic waste, and encouraging staff and students to catch public transport or ride to campus. UOW Shoalhaven’s campus runs on 100 per cent renewable energy

For more information about UOW’s Environment Team visit https://www.uow.edu.au/about/services/environment/