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New Zealand: Advancements in Citizen Infrastructure

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Countries have been actively improving their citizen infrastructure to enhance citizen satisfaction. Several countries in the Asia-Pacific are investing heavily in various sectors, such as technology and transportation, making citizens’ activities more seamless.

In New Zealand alone, the ORC Public and Active Transport Committee, led by Co-chair Andrew Noone, has announced a significant investment in environmentally friendly public transportation for Dunedin. With the introduction of 11 electric buses this month, the city is poised to make substantial strides towards its 2030 zero carbon goals.

According to Andrew, the transition to electric buses will yield numerous benefits for Dunedin. It will reduce fuel consumption by nearly 240,000 litres of diesel per year and play a pivotal role in improving air quality throughout the city. With approximately 648,000 kilometres of the 4.5 million kilometres travelled annually by Dunedin Dunedin’s buses now emissions-free, the impact on carbon emissions is expected to be substantial.

The decision to invest in electric buses follows a successful e-bus trial conducted in 2021. During the trial, the buses were tested on various routes, including hilly terrain, city centres, and motorways, demonstrating their admirable performance, particularly on the challenging hills of Dunedin. This success underscores New Zealand’s commitment to integrating technology into public transportation services to improve community well-being.

New Zealand has demonstrated its dedication to enhancing public transportation through technology integration, aiming to improve efficiency, comfort, and accessibility for residents. The introduction of e-buses in Dunedin is just one example of this commitment, reflecting a broader effort to revolutionise the public transportation system nationwide. By embracing innovation and continuous improvement, the Council strives to create an inclusive, efficient, and accessible environment for all residents.

Andrew expressed confidence that passengers would appreciate the new electric buses, citing their quieter operation and advanced safety features. Additionally, the buses are equipped with cutting-edge technology, including an onboard fire suppression system, ensuring passenger safety at all times. Moreover, the electric buses have proven reliable even in Dunedin’s harsh winter conditions, starting seamlessly in sub-zero temperatures. This investment in technology enhances the passenger experience and contributes to the city’s overall sustainability goals.

Six e-bus chargers have been installed at Ritchie’s bus depot to support the transition to electric buses. Furthermore, drivers have undergone extensive training to familiarise themselves with the new vehicles, and the buses are being configured to accept the Bee Card, streamlining the fare payment process for passengers.

Dunedin and Queenstown’s bus fleets will gradually shift towards electric buses over the next four years as more e-buses are added to the transportation networks. This strategic initiative aligns with broader efforts to promote sustainability and reduce carbon emissions in New Zealand’s public transportation sector.

Adopting electric buses represents a significant step forward in Dunedin’s journey towards becoming a greener, more environmentally sustainable city. By embracing digital technology and investing in eco-friendly transportation solutions, Dunedin sets a positive example for other urban centres nationwide. With continued investment and innovation, the transition to electric buses is expected to yield long-term benefits for the environment and the community.

In this context, digital technology is invaluable for optimising the operation and management of electric buses in Dunedin. Through the integration of digital systems, such as real-time monitoring and data analytics, the city can efficiently track the performance of its electric bus fleet, identify areas for improvement, and ensure optimal use of resources.

In India, OpenGov Asia reported, that the Department of Science and Technology (DST) organised a meeting to plan the development of electric vehicles (EVs) and create a roadmap for their growth. The aim is to have EVs make up 30% of cars by 2030. Key focuses include developing durable batteries, like solid-state ones, suitable for India’s hot climate. They also discussed organising research programmes to work closely with industries and academic institutions for effective implementation.


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