Mobility Portal, Spain
Date: April 4, 2024
Angeles Fonti
By Angeles Fonti
Latin America

Following consultancy with the USA, Quito will open tenders for electric buses

This is technical support that will address the appropriate steps to achieve a modern, sustainable, and equitable electric transport system in Quito, focusing on two main areas: electromobility and accessibility.
electric bus quito

The Metropolitan Public Passenger Transport Company of Quito (EPMTP) has signed an agreement with the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) with the aim of receiving support for the transition to a fleet of 100% electric buses.

This consultancy will seek to establish a modern, clean, more sustainable, and equitable transport system in Quito, focusing on two main areas: electromobility and accessibility.

The final report is expected to be ready in June, at which point the tendering process for the acquisition of electric buses by specialised companies will begin.

“USAID is helping us to draft the Terms of Reference (TDR) and the technical specifications required for the electric buses for the northern circuit of the city,” comments Xavier Vazquez, General Manager of EPMTP, in conversation with Mobility Portal Latinoamérica.

This technical assistance will be crucial for the development of a Universal Access Plan that ensures users’ accessibility to public electric buses, including the redesign of access areas, communication equipment, and adaptation of vehicles for people with reduced mobility.

It is important to note that, although USAID is providing technical support for the consultancy, the acquisition of electric buses is the exclusive responsibility of the Passenger Company.

As Vazquez mentions: “The scope of the project with USAID is not the purchase of buses; they are only helping us to determine the powers, characteristics, and type of infrastructure of the depot.”

The initiative is part of the company’s modernisation project, which has been in operation for over 28 years and is also part of the 2022-2042 Master Mobility Plan.

Among the projects to be achieved in 20 years is the inclusion of electric mobility for bus corridors.

Although it does not specify the number of units, it indicates the deadlines and costs that the jurisdiction will allocate to provide zero-emission buses to the transport system.

The roadmap proposes the promotion of a public transport system “that prioritises modes with zero or low-emission technologies, with resilient and sustainable infrastructure in the long term.”

Furthermore, it will enable the company to comply with the National Energy Efficiency Law, which prohibits the use of buses running on fossil fuels from 2030.

A public transport system, electric and accessible for the entire population

This agreement, in addition to focusing on the modernisation of public transport, emphasises accessibility and inclusivity.

Thus, the EPMTP manager highlights the importance of these aspects by stating that “they are necessary to generate sustainable mobility.”

Studies are being carried out at the stops of the city’s two main corridors: the Ecovía, on the east side of the city, and the trolleybus, in the central area.

These corridors, which run longitudinally through the city of Quito, are vital for mobility in the region.

Regarding the requirements being evaluated, he points out that they are working on “what type of flooring to use at the stops, signage for visually impaired people, and language inclusion.”

This comprehensive evaluation also includes aspects such as the appropriate width of the stops and ease of access for people with reduced mobility.

Furthermore, Vazquez announces that the accessibility report will be received shortly, which will be thoroughly reviewed to make informed decisions regarding the necessary improvements at the bus stops.

Although some progress can be implemented immediately, others may present challenges due to limitations in public space.

“We are working to identify viable solutions that improve accessibility as much as possible,” he admits.

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