Santiago is one of an increasing number of cities in the world that has focused on intelligent, bus-based transport systems that are known as BRT, or Bus Rapid Transit. BRT is based on buses with a high passenger capacity, frequent departures, stops that allow passengers to quickly get on and off the bus, and often also separate bus lanes.
Systems based on buses are highly flexible. They are often capable of transporting as many passengers as a rail-bound system, although at a fraction of the cost. In Santiago, the BRT system is called Transantiago. It comprises five corridors through the city that are supplemented with bus routes that take passengers into the corridors.
The system was launched in 2005, when Volvo Buses secured one of its single largest orders ever for 1,700 buses, of which a considerable percentage comprised 18-meter-long articulated buses. Transantiago is the BRT system worldwide in which most Volvo articulated buses are used.
The latest order pertains to 297 Volvo B7RLE buses, which are 12 meters long and have a 90-passenger capacity. The buses will be deployed in two of the corridors and on a feeder route.
The order is from three Transantiago operators; Express de Santiago, Alsacia and Veolia/Red Bus. With these new buses, more than 2,500 Volvo buses will traffic the streets of Santiago.
“One of the key reasons behind securing this order is the quality and reliability of our buses,” says Per Gabell, President Volvo Buses Latin America. “Another reason is the strict compliance by Volvo of the terms and conditions established in previous deals.
The chassis of the new buses will be built in Volvo’s plants in Curitiba, Brazil, and Borås, Sweden. The bodies will be built by two or three body manufacturers in Brazil. Deliveries will be made from May to October 2010.
May 25, 2010
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