Chile’s President Sebastián Piñera unveiled on Thursday the first 100 electric buses that will be part of the city’s public transportation. The buses will be part of the new fleet of Transantiago.
The government announced the plans to bring the electric buses a few months back. The new buses are an upgrade from the ones currently offering the service. The buses, which come in red and white colors, are equipped with USB chargers, security cameras, air conditioning and WiFi.
The new buses have 30 seats and a maximum capacity of 81. The government has announced that the buses will debut on Saturday. The debut will begin with the Metbus company through its 519 route. Route 507 will see the new buses on Monday.
The president explained that Transantiago wasn’t the best and that it did not contribute to the quality of the service. He added that this was the reason why they decided to bring the new buses and renovate public transport.
In the event, the whole fleet of buses was available for the crowd to see. A video from Bio Bio Chile shows the president getting into one of the buses. Part of the fleet will debut on Saturday.
The president added that the new machines will look to elevate the standard. He also pointed out that Santiago will be the city with most electric buses behind cities in China.
Santiago has more than 100 buses on its public transportation service so the buses will not replace the old ones right away. The old fleet will not be replaced right away since the city recently had to extend contract with two of the companies behind the service.
The new electric buses are a great addition for the city, which has many routes and types of transportation. The current buses are not in the greatest condition and a lot of the population will benefit from the new technology found in the electric ones. USB chargers are a major addition since they can help users charge their phone on their way home. Security cameras are also a plus since a lot of the current buses don’t have them. Air conditioning is also good for this time of the year.
The electric buses arrived to Chile just a few weeks ago but not everything has gone smoothly. Just a few days ago, reports revealed that one of the buses had been vandalized. Reports say the bus was found vandalized during the late hours of Friday. Pictures show a giant graffiti covering the side of the bus.
The bus was sitting at a bus station in the Maipu commune. The good news is that the city was able to wash off the paint and put the bus back in perfect condition. Vandalism has been a big problem over the last few years. A few weeks back, videos showed people spray painting a train as it waited at a station. The government spends millions of pesos each year to remove the paint from buses and trains. Reports said back in 2016 that the government spent 90 million pesos on washing off the paint from trains.