During the final week of Enrique Peñalosa’s term as mayor of Bogotá, the first all-electric bus was unveiled by TransMilenio and entered service as part of the district’s transition to clean energy mass transportation. Joining a fleet of 483 electric vehicles that will be fully operational in 2020, the blue SITP bus was manufactured by Yutong and assembled in Pereira, capital of Risaralda, by Busscar.
“Today, we take the first big step of turning Bogotá into a city with the largest electric bus fleet in Latin America,” remarked Peñalosa on December 23 during a launch accompanied by TransMilenio’s General Manager María Consuelo Araújo. “We have worked hard to give this city better public transport service, with state-of-the-art and environmentally friendly technology,” said Peñalosa, emphasizing also, that with this clean technology Bogotá’s air quality will improve.
The new all-electric buses come equipped with USB ports so that passengers can charge their cellphones and other electronic gadgets on board. And to give commuters added incentives to use the SITP system, TransMilenio is offering free transfers up to 90 minutes, travel on credit with the TuLlave card, and subsidized rate for seniors and those with disabilities. The new buses will also have at least four security cameras that will serve as evidence for authorities in cases of theft or harassment.
While the future of mass transportation for Bogotá is now in the hands of the new administration of Mayor Claudia López, the ratification this week of Andrés Escobar as General Manager of the over-ground Metro de Bogotá, as well as announcement by López that disused railway lines will become the grid for a regional tramway – Regiotram – reveal that the search for clean energy for Bogotá transcends political interests and stymied opposition to integrated transport solutions.