The Catalan metropolis wants to reduce the emissions of its public transport system. To this end, Transports Metropolitans de Barcelona aims to purchase 254 environmentally friendly buses. The project is financed with a loan from the European Investment Bank.
The European Investment Bank (EIB) is making a loan of 73.5 million euros available to the TMB. The loan will replace diesel buses and older natural gas models with newer, lower-emission alternatives.
Specifically, 116 electric buses, 63 hybrid models and 75 vehicles with a modern natural gas engine will be covered. In addition, 20 diesel-powered double-decker buses will be replaced by vehicles with hybrid drive. The timetable has also been set: the first 105 buses are scheduled to go into regular service in 2019. In 2020, 75 buses will follow, and in the following year 74 vehicles will be added to the fleet.
Public buses are becoming increasingly popular in Barcelona. According to TMB figures, 203 million passengers were transported in 2018. Over the past six years, the number has risen by 17 per cent. With the new buses, TMB aims to improve the quality and reliability of its services. In addition, the change to emission-free bus operation will be accelerated.
The onboard information system will also be improved and charging stations built with funds from the loan. Approximately 1000 new jobs are to be created in the course of vehicle production. “Electric transport involves higher initial investment costs in terms of both vehicles and infrastructure,” says TMB boss Enric Canas. “appropriate financing from public transport authorities and financial institutions is vital”.