MERCEDES-BENZ O405NH CNG - 2000
2000 is one of 300 Mercedes O405NH CNG buses delivered to Sydney Buses between 1999 and 2002. The buses were delivered with a Citaro body, built by Custom Coaches. 2000 was the first vehicle delivered in April of 1999. It was originally intended to be delivered as m/o1108 with the fleet number 1108, but was changed to 2000 to celebrate the Sydney Olympics in 2000.
The chassis and body shell were built in Germany and final fit out was completed by Custom Coaches. The chassis consisted of a Mercedes-Benz OM 447hG rear mounted engine and a 5-speed automatic ZF 5HP500 gearbox. The bus was powered by natural gas, which was stored in a pod on the roof of the vehicle to allow for a low entry, wheelchair accessible bus. The bus is 12.5m long an has a 6.7m wheelbase and could hold 70 passengers including 45 seated and 25 standing. These buses were air-conditioned by a Coachair unit and used a Mobitec ICU400 flipdot destination screen.
The buses which were delivered in time for the Olympic Games provided some service around Olympic Park, whilst others were used on the new Parramatta-Liverpool T-Way. They were stored in leased space at the Westbus Bonnyrigg Depot, and were driven to Ryde Depot daily to be refueled as the Bonnyrigg Depot did not have CNG fueling facilities.
An early retirement was decided for these vehicles, as NSW regulations require that the gas tanks must be re-certified or replaced at 15 years old, and then re-certified every 5 years after if not replaced. The tanks were re-certified on each bus once, and once due for a second re-certification they were retired.
During their lifetime, the buses ran out of the Ryde, Port Botany, Waverly and Leichhardt depots. All vehicles were originally delivered to Sydney Buses, with some vehicles transferred to Transit Systems after privatisation of the Leichhardt depot.
In 2020, bus 2000 was wrapped in a special livery celebrating the 20th anniversary of the Sydney Olympics. This livery featured text displaying the hashtag for the official 20th anniversary of the Sydney Olympics social-media campaign, #MySydney2000. The bus is still in this wrap and can be seen on display at the Sydney Bus Museum. Work is currently underway to restore this bus and create a static exhibit, as the vehicle no longer has its gas tanks and therefor cannot run.