By Kendall Thiele / The Santiago Times
SANTIAGO — The first double-decker bus that will operate in the city of Santiago within the public transit system, begins its testing tomorrow as part of a pilot program for the company Transantiago.
This model, operating in cities such as Mexico City, Hong Kong, Toronto and London, will be incorporated for a period of six weeks, and travel between Las Rejas and University of Chile, benefiting commuters of the Santiago Central Station.
A main feature of the vehicle is its ability to hold 129 passengers, of which 84 may travel seated, which is near double of a conventional bus. Also, the bus takes up less road space and presents environmental advantages, since the engine complies with Euro VI standards, as well as having a structure that reduces the cost of fuel, noise, and pollutant emissions.
The United Kingdom Ambassador in Chile, Fiona Clouder, indicated that “this bus is an icon in London, which contributes to the concept of a city more intelligent because of the advancement in technology permits that generate less pollution, both acoustic and environmental.”
The Enviro500 model, which has a height of 4.1 meters and a length of 12.9 meters, has a ultra-low floor, which gives high levels of stability due to its low center of gravity. For the convenience of passengers, it also has air conditioning, padded seats and travel identification signs.
“We have a commitment to innovation in new technologies with buses that are less polluting, thus contributing to the quality of the public transport system of Santiago,” stressed Humberto Franchini, Operations manager of Metbus.
“In this sense, introducing two-story buses moves the transit system in the right direction by providing a greater number of seats, which translates into significant improvement in the quality of service delivered to users.”
During the pilot program, users will be asked to complete a survey about the perception of this service in terms of its characteristics, which will also be given to technicians and operators with the aim of identifying the main advantages of this bus in the system.