President Piñera unveils 100 new electric buses for the Metropolitan Region: “A profound change is happening in the public transportation system”.
The new buses will double the size of the current electric fleet in Santiago, strengthening the Metropolitan Transportation System, RED. During the event, President Piñera also inaugurated the Rinconada electroterminal in the municipality of Maipú, the largest facility of its kind in Latin America.
On Thursday, President Sebastián Piñera unveiled 100 new electric buses, which will double the size of the current fleet in the city of Santiago. The vehicles form part of the vehicle modernization program that will allow the government to ensure that 80% of the machines meet a new higher quality standard by 2022.
The RED fleet includes new electric buses and Euro VI vehicles, which are more ecological. All of the units offer more comfortable seats, air conditioning, Wi-Fi, USB cell phone charging stations and a system that automatically senses whether a passenger is in a doorway to avoid injuries. The buses also offer very low noise and vibration levels, secure cabins for drivers and five cameras on board.
“A profound change is happening in the public transportation system”, Piñera said at a ceremony held to unveil the buses and inaugurate the Rinconada electroterminal in Maipú at which he appeared with Transportation Minister Gloria Hutt.
President Piñera stated that Santiago’s main thoroughfare, known as La Alameda, will become the largest electro-corridor in Latin America through this expansion of the electric fleet to 158.
The new vehicles bring the total number of electric buses circulating in Santiago to 203, as a group of the vehicles had already been added in December. A total of 5,300 of the system’s 6,600 buses will be replaced by March 2022, adding electric units and Euro VI buses.
“This means that the change has begun and is progressing gradually, and that it will continue to evolve until we completely overhaul our public transportation system”, President Piñera stated.
The Rinconada electroterminal is the largest facility of its kind in Latin America. It offers 37 chargers, each of which can charge two buses in just 2.5 hours.
“This new electric technology has come to stay. It will allow us to move from a public transportation system based on diesel with all that that represents in terms of pollution and noise to a new modern system”, President Piñera said.
He also noted that the transportation system modernization efforts will be expanded to include areas outside of the Metropolitan Region this year.