Chilean public transport marked a historic milestone with the official presentation of the first 100 electric buses, which on the 519 route between the city centre and Peñalolén entered service in the Santiago public transport system in December 2018.
Three months later the second 100 electric buses started operations, running between Maipú and Bajos de Mena with a connection in the city centre. They form part of a vehicle modernization programme that will see 80% of buses reach a higher quality standard by the end of the present administration.
The RED fleet is made up of the new electric buses and the ecological Euro VI vehicles. All have greater seating comfort, air conditioning, WiFi, USB cellphone charging points and an automatic passenger detection system to prevent people getting trapped. The vehicles furthermore have systems allowing for lower noise and vibration levels, as well as secure cabins for drivers and five onboard cameras.
“The operation of the first electric buses is in response to the challenge assumed by the government of President Piñera to make Chile a pioneering country in electromobility. The arrival of the first electric buses is the first step in what will be the new standard in the transport system, and the shape of things to come in what has been included in the Third Millennium Transport Plan,” Transport and Telecommunications minister Gloria Hutt said.
The new fleet of electric buses is the first sign of the improved standard in the new transport tenders, which will guarantee a better passenger experience. The non-contaminating technology provides a service perceived as higher quality by passengers, who rated it at 6.3 out of 7.
With the addition of the new buses, President Sebastián Piñera indicated that the Alameda – one of central Santiago’s busiest roads – will become the biggest electroroute in Latin America, with the operation of 158 buses. There are 6,600 buses in the Santiago public transport system, and by March 2022 5,300 of them will have been replaced by vehicles including Euro VI and electric buses.
The electroterminal at Rinconada is the largest in Latin America and has 37 electrical chargers that can each serve two buses. At the terminal, it will be possible to completely charge a bus in two and a half hours.