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Buses, like other vehicles, have their emissions regulated at point of entry into the fleet (through the Vehicle Exhaust Emissions Rule) and in-service (through the Road User Rule and Warrant of Fitness/Certificate of Fitness requirements). However, bus emissions are also regulated through the Requirements for urban buses (RUB) developed by the Transport Agency in collaboration with regional councils, Auckland Transport, Bus and Coach Association, bus operators and industry suppliers.

The first version of the RUB was published in December 2008 and then updated in September 2011. The purpose of the RUB is to standardise urban bus requirements across New Zealand. Regional councils and Auckland Transport must use the RUB so that they can access Transport Agency public transport funding.

The RUB applies to regional council/Auckland Transport-contracted public transport bus services in urban centres and includes requirements for new buses entering an urban fleet, as well as existing vehicles. The key regulations in the RUB which impact bus emissions are:

  • New buses entering an urban fleet must meet the current Vehicle Exhaust Emission rule (currently Euro V).
  • All existing buses must meet Euro III for use in Auckland, Wellington and Christchurch and Euro II in urban centres elsewhere.
  • The maximum permitted age for any bus (new or existing) in an urban fleet is <20 years.
  • The average age of an urban fleet is = 12.5 years (when the new contracts are first rolled out) which then reduces to = 10 years by 1 January 2017.

While contracted school and rural services are generally exempt, regional councils and Auckland Transport are expected to strive for the highest possible achievement of the maximum age, accessibility and safety standards possible for the available funding. Existing buses aged between 20 and 23 years can be used for school only use with prior approval, if evidence is provided of a planned replacement programme.

For further information contact environment@nzta.govt.nz.

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