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Published: 2006-09-29 00:00:00

Go Bus Transport Ltd has won an eight-year contract to operate five of Environment Waikato’s Hamilton bus services – using a fleet that will operate entirely on CNG.

The areas to be serviced by the new buses will include Fitzroy, Fairfield, Rototuna, the University and Hamilton East.

“The successful tender was won on a range of features including price and quality and CNG fuel, which attracts greater weighting through the tender process,” said the council’s Deputy Chief Executive Officer, Clare Crickett.

“The successful tenderer obviously sharpened his pencil to help keep costs down, coming in lower than the nearest competitor but not at the expense of quality,” Ms Crickett said.

Environment Waikato’s Finance and Audit committee Chairman Basil Morrison said council was pleased to have CNG buses in the fleet.

“It is important to run a competitive process to achieve a good result for the ratepayer and the bus user and I should think most will be happy with the outcome,” Cr Morrison said.

Specification of one fuel type over another in a tender process could make it harder from some operators to compete, pushing up costs to ratepayers for limited benefit. The tender system does recognise the marginal benefits of CNG-fuelled engines over modern diesel engines, however, by awarding extra points to that fuel type.

Go Bus will be building 10 new CNG buses to meet the requirements of the new contract, bringing Hamilton’s CNG-powered fleet to 23. The new contract starts on February 3, 2007 in time for the new school and University year.