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A Dandenong-based business is delivering buses to Japan.
Volgren recently handed over two 18-metre long articulated buses – buses with the concertina-like centre – to operator Nara Kotsu Bus Lines in Japan’s south, near Osaka.
The relationship with Nara Kotsu is one of several Volgren has in the country, including an ongoing association with Japan’s largest bus operator, the Nishitetsu Railway Company.
That company ordered an extra five articulated buses last year.
Volgren has also forged partnerships with global trading company Mitsui and Co and Scania Japan to provide service and support for the vehicles.
“The delivery of the two artics for Nara Kotsu is the result of 18 months of hard work,” Volgren business development manager Jon Tozer said.
Articulated buses are rare in Japan with only a handful operating in the country until Volgren’s entry into the market in 2014.
“We’ve found that operators are closely watching the operation and public acceptance of the artics and there’s definitely renewed interest, especially as they face driver shortages,” Mr Tozer said.
“Also, the costs associated with light and heavy rail means BRT (bus rapid transit) systems are now becoming a more financially viable and attractive solution.
“There’s currently no local Japanese bus body manufacturer producing articulated buses with the only other option being buses from Europe, that are non-compliant to Japanese regulations and not equipped with any Japanese accessory equipment upon delivery to the customer.
“The articulated buses that we are producing for the Japanese market are 100 per cent compliant to their vehicle regulations complete with Japanese equipment.”

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