Guadalajara is Mexico’s second largest city with slightly more than four million inhabitants and the financial center for the country’s western region. As many big cities, Guadalajara suffers from increasing road congestion, air pollution, and an obsolete transit system
But, as is the case with several cities, Guadalajara has chosen to invest in Bus Rapid Transit (BRT). The system has been named Macrobús and will commence in December 2008. The first bus corridor will connect the northern part of the city to the southern part. The route is 16 km long, has 27 stops and will be served by 41 articulated buses from Volvo Buses.
The bus is an 18-meter articulated Volvo 7300, built on the Volvo B12M chassis. The bus seats 160 passengers, who can rapidly board and leave the bus due to the raised floor, which is on the same level as the floor in the specially built bus stops. The buses will be manufactured at Volvo Buses’ plant outside Mexico City.
The system will be planned and controlled by the State transportation authority, while private operators will purchase, maintain and operate the buses. The choice for Volvo by the operator was due to the product’s high quality and experience in the Mexican market. A decisive factor was Volvo’s early action in offering the articulated bus with the Euro IV standard.
With more efficient bus traffic and new Euro IV buses, there will be a strong positive effect on the environment. And when many inhabitants will leave their cars for the more efficient public transport, the effect is even stonger.
This is the first of 3 corridors in Guadalajara planned for 2008-2012. The complete project will cover 77 km and many more articulated buses. The BRT system will be complemented with feeder services, state-of-the-art telecommunications and information technology, and urban improvement works.
With these delivery and those for Mexico City’s Metrobús this year, Volvo’s articulated bus market share will approach 85% with over 250 buses running on Mexican streets. Prospects are promising for the upcoming years as more and more Mexican cities are interested in replicating the BRT model.