Mobility Portal, Spain
Date: August 28, 2023
Marianela Taborelli
By Marianela Taborelli
Latin America

Like in London: Social media reactions to Chile’s new double-decker electric buses

It will be a fleet of 10 units, each bus with a capacity for 100 passengers, 70 of them seated. This is a technology that is only available in London, Singapore, Hong Kong, and cities in China.
London Chile electric buses

A few days ago, Chile unveiled a new milestone in electromobility and positioned itself “Like in London”.

The first double-decker electric buses were introduced, which will be regularly integrated into the RED Movilidad fleet through the operator Metbus.

With this, RED Movilidad becomes the first transportation system in the Americas to incorporate double-decker buses into its operations.

How did social media react to this event?

LinkedIn was one of the spaces with the most impact in the posts made by the Metropolitan Public Transport Board (DTPM).

Some users referred to them as “gems,” while others stated that they are “beautiful.”

In another instance, a user expressed: “Good marketing but these double-decker buses aren’t suitable for public transport, now if you have them planned for airport trips, I congratulate you.”

In the post uploaded by BYD, the bus supplier company, the most recurring comment pertained to concerns about the height and low clearance. There were also some declared as “fans of double-deckers.”

A professional theoretical, practical, and simulator driving instructor added another concern:

“With a weight of 16 tons, the asphalt pavement is the only thing that concerns me. Nonetheless, the bus is wonderful, its short charging time is fantastic, and a turning radius of 12 meters.”

Like in London?

However, as the title highlights, the most recurring comparison was with London.

Beyond the bus morphology, the analogy perhaps also relates to the color that the RED system imposes.

Comments were observed such as: “Wow London style ūüėé.”

The Government itself presented them on their YouTube channel with this caption: “Just like in London, Chile now has double-decker electric buses!”

A separate paragraph for the user reactions on the X social network to the presentation by the Ministry of Transport and Telecommunications.

“As in London, but with the security of Somalia,” commented one user.

“Minister, with all due respect, London, apart from the distance in kilometers, is far apart in terms of civic education and infrastructure for its normal functioning,” another referred.

“On which streets can they travel? I’m not sure about London, but Santiago has all the cables crisscrossing the streets…” expressed another comment.

“I hope the drivers are 1000% professional, just like in London, Dear Minister,” they added.

Many others referred to them as “marvelous,” “good news,” “cool.”

Meanwhile, on the Government’s LinkedIn post, the criticisms are directed towards the use or potential misuse that citizens might make of these units.

One comment reads: “I have my doubts about the necessity of having this type of urban buses, considering the characteristics of Santiago (lots of low-hanging cables) and concerns about the use of the second floor. If it’s for the mere aspirational feeling of being like London, it seems absurd to me.”

But there’s also optimism about it: “Tremendous initiative, I hope the population’s culture in the metropolitan region progresses at the same speed, enabling us to take care of these types of vehicles.”

Evidently, social media users are concerned about the height of the buses considering the electric wiring system in some parts of Santiago, fearing that they might not be able to pass through.

However, returning to this comparison, international media also picked up the news and chose to title it “Like in London.”

Read more: BYD and Alexander Dennis Deliver 1,500th Electric Bus to Go Ahead London

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