Public transport operator Keolis has received a four-year extension of the existing contract for Stockholm from the Swedish transport authority Storstockholms Lokaltrafik. The contract has now been extended to August 2026 and the existing fleet is to be increased by 15 electric buses.
In the course of the extension, digital services will also be expanded meaning that commuters will be able to find out the exact position and arrival time of the next bus in advance, as well as the number of passengers already on board. In the area, which includes the city of Stockholm and the island of Lidingö northeast of the capital, 41 lines serve around 400 stops. 80 million passengers use the buses every year.
A new depot with charging infrastructure is also planned for the 15 electric buses that are to go into operation when the new contract comes into force in August 2022. So far there is no indication of which manufacturer will be used for vehicles and infrastructure. More than 1,400 Keolis employees will then take care of the operation and maintenance of the bus fleet, which will comprise a total of 335 vehicles.
At the same time, the statement made by Keolis in the press release that these will be 335 “fossil-free buses” should be treated with caution. According to the specialist newsite Sustainable Bus, the majority of the fleet consists of vehicles with biogas, biodiesel or hybrid drives. Although these may no longer be powered by fossil fuels, they are not locally CO2-free.
In other cities, Keolis already operates significantly more electric buses than in Stockholm. In April 2020, the company had already received a new order from Movia for the operation and maintenance of 47 buses in the Copenhagen area, 32 of which will be purely electric. The operation is scheduled to start there in June 2021.
The French public transport operator has used makes from various manufacturers for its previous orders. For Bergen, about 88 electric buses were ordered from the Chinese manufacturer Yutong, but also 10 trolleybuses from Solaris. In the Netherlands, Keolis relies on electric buses from BYD. For hydrogen projects in France and Denmark, Keolis uses different fuel cell buses from Van Hool.