As part of Brisbane Metro, Brisbane City Council will introduce a new fleet of 60 battery electric, high‑capacity metros. The metros will integrate seamlessly into busway operations, sharing the busway with existing bus services, as part of a better planned network.
Brisbane is growing and so is the demand for faster, more efficient public transport. Brisbane Metro is designed to address congestion bottlenecks by meeting the demand for frequent and reliable travel to the inner city, providing capacity for future growth.
Council is working with world-leading vehicle manufacturer HESS, electric infrastructure experts Hitachi Energy and leading manufacturer Volgren to design and build the battery electric metro fleet and state‑of‑the‑art, flash charging infrastructure.
Metro video and artist's impressions
The first of its kind in Australia
battery electric operation
zero tailpipe emissions
24/7 electric operation
The metros include the high-quality and high-capacity features of a light rail vehicle while avoiding the need for tracks, overhead line equipment and infrastructure by utilising our existing busway. With a spacious bi-articulated design, metros comfortably transport 150 passengers and 170 passengers in event mode, enabling greater capacity on Brisbane’s public transport network.
Council is committed to delivering a class-leading, inclusive and accessible public transport system for Brisbane. Through a unique co-design process with the accessibility sector during the pilot metro design phase, the project is aiming to exceed compliance with relevant disability standards and guidelines.
Key achievements include increasing the number and size of mobility aid bays and the number of priority seating areas, making this Australia’s leading accessible public transport option.
Passenger features of the metro include:
- capacity for 150 passengers and 170 in event mode
- three large double doors for efficient all door boarding
- passenger information displays and visual route information
- in-built USB charging points and on-board Wi‑Fi
- configurable LED lighting and an interior illuminated ceiling
- panoramic windows throughout.
Technology features of the metro include:
- battery electric operation
- zero tailpipe emissions
- on-board telematics system providing real‑time travel information
- driver assistive technologies to support safe operations
- two of four axels propelled by electric motors for front and rear wheel steering, enabling remarkable manoeuvrability
- flash charging in under six minutes at the end of route
- a regenerative braking system
- preconditioning, bringing the metro to a comfortable temperature for the driver and passengers
- almost silent operation, achieving significant reduction in noise pollution.
Accessibility features of the metro include:
- three large mobility aid bays in the first passenger compartment
- automated on-request ramp access at the first passenger door
- low-floor design from front to rear for accessible boarding
- 10 priority seats
- next stop audio and hearing loops in all compartments.
The pilot metro has arrived in Brisbane for testing in local operating conditions throughout 2022 and into 2023. The metro and its charging system are the first of their kind in Australia and because of this there are testing and commissioning activities that need to be completed.
Testing of the pilot metro will occur across Greater Brisbane at different locations to ensure it meets all required technical specifications and Council requirements. This includes testing and commissioning the pilot metro charging point, at the Countess Street layover, in the existing busway corridor at Petrie Terrace.
The pilot metro will not be in passenger service. Please do not attempt to board the pilot metro. You will see people travelling on the pilot metro, including technical engineers, project team members and key stakeholders who are required for testing.
Following the successful trial of the pilot metro, Council will have the option to purchase 59 additional metros, with services expected to commence in late 2024, subject to approvals.
Metros are battery electric and require charging infrastructure to operate. The charging strategy chosen for Brisbane Metro will strike the balance between battery size and life, infrastructure impact and operational efficiency. There will be two types of charging equipment used to charge the metros: flash charging (Grid‑eMotion™) and CCS2 plug-in slow chargers.
Key features and benefits
15 x 600 kW flash charging at end of route locations
Flash charging in under six minutes
Flash charging is 85 times faster than general home electric vehicle charging
60 x 50 kW slow chargers at the metro depot
Slow charging supports battery conditioning
The flash charging system will be the first of its kind in Australia and can charge a metro in under six minutes at the end of route locations. Flash charging will be delivered using overhead pantograph infrastructure. A pantograph is the moving equipment that autonomously connects to a charging point from the metro roof charging equipment.
Slow chargers will be used to charge the metros at the metro depot. Slow charging increases the metros battery lifespan and optimises energy consumption from Brisbane’s energy grid during off-peak periods. A Power Load Management system controls the slow charging at the metro depot and optimises the current draw from the grid to moderate peak loads.
Metro charging infrastructure will be constructed and installed at the following locations:
- Herston: An end of route flash charging facility and metro layover area will be constructed at Ernie’s Roundabout within the existing bus layover area.
- Petrie Terrace: An end of route flash charging facility for metros will be constructed in the Inner Northern Busway adjacent to Countess Street.
- The University of Queensland: UQ Lakes station will be upgraded as well as providing end of route flash charging and layover area for metros.
- Rochedale: a new metro depot will house five flash chargers, as well as 60 slow chargers, and their supporting charging infrastructure.