Auckland Transport

Bus console batteries replaced

Consoles on Auckland’s bus fleet are being modified after an incident yesterday in which a driver was taken to hospital with facial injuries.

A malfunction within a console, which is used to store ticket and route information, caused a plastic casing to fly off, injuring the driver.

The fault was with an internal lithium battery.

Thales Australia, which installed and maintains the machines, recommended they be replaced with upgraded batteries, which have a short-circuit fail-safe. Technicians are being flown in and the new batteries will be fitted on buses by Saturday.

AT also wants Thales Australia to look at modifications to the console casings.

Incidents involving faulty batteries of this type are rare worldwide.

“We don’t believe this is a systemic issue but rather a freak accident. Thales have never had any experience of an incident like this and they advise the possibility of a similar event is extremely low, and reduced even further with the latest fail-safe battery” says AT’s Chief Executive, David Warburton.

Since the machines were installed last year, Auckland’s 1150 buses have travelled an estimated 46 million kilometres (or approximately 1.9 million hours on the road).

Mr Warburton has also expressed concern for the bus driver involved whose welfare is being looked after by his employers.