Mobility Portal, Spain
Date: July 5, 2024
Angeles Fonti
By Angeles Fonti
Latin America

The world’s largest fleet: TransMilenio calls for investors for tender of 296 low and zero emission articulated buses

Through a public selection process, it is expected that the concessionaire will develop its own design and implement the most efficient solution to meet the operational needs of the system. This involves a total of 296 low and zero-emission buses and two charging depots. The results will be announced in November.
transmilenio buses

TransMilenio enters a “new era” with the presentation of a roadmap for awarding a concession contract aimed at low and zero-emission fleets, along with the corresponding charging infrastructure.

In this first phase, the project encompasses 296 articulated and bi-articulated low and zero-emission buses: 156 will be 100 per cent electric, while the technology for the rest will depend on market offers.

With an investment of over 244 million dollars, framed within the District Development Plan presented by Galán’s new administration for the next four years, it becomes the largest fleet of electric articulated trunk buses in the world.

A total of 613 buses are expected.

“More than 120 international and national companies are interested in the publication,” said Isabel Muñoz, Executive Director of Invest in Bogotá, which is responsible for creating spaces to facilitate foreign investment as a “development engine” for the city.

She refers to manufacturers, concessionaires, investment funds, electric mobility, and technology firms that will seek to strengthen the public transport system through what they call “Phase VI.”

“The nature of the contract is a concession for infrastructure, not only physical infrastructure but also rolling stock, fleet supply, and associated support infrastructure that the concessionaire will have to adapt and build to be appropriate,” detailed Pedro Gutierrez, Deputy General Manager of TransMilenio, about the first stage of Phase VI.

What is this “new era” with 296 low and zero-emission buses about?

After five phases developed over 24 years – which had two components: the trunk and zonal systems – TransMilenio is starting the sixth phase.

Specifically, this initiative will focus on the trunk component to achieve service integration in Bogotá and neighbouring municipalities.

It is the process of incorporating new low and zero-emission fleets for the operation of the new trunks: Avenida Carrera 68, Avenida Ciudad de Cali, the extension to Soacha, Carrera 7, and Calle 13.

What exactly are they looking for?

With the presentation of the roadmap, which contains the tender specifications, it is expected that the concessionaire will create their “own design” and implement the most efficient solution to meet the operational design needs.

It is estimated that the fleet will be divided into two lots. The first will be 296 buses out of the more than 600 expected.

The first lot will consist of 140 articulated buses, which must at least meet Euro VI standards and can be electric, diesel, or natural gas, depending on market availability.

The second lot is expected to consist of 156 articulated buses that will need to be 100% electric.

For this, they will provide support infrastructure divided into two depots: “El Vínculo” located in Soacha, and “La Sexta,” an icon in Bogotá.

In the latter, the fleet provider will need to carry out the required infrastructure concessions.

Concessionaires are expected to design an integrated system and an “operational solution” that includes the bus and brand, battery size and specifications, charging infrastructure, and depot distribution.

Currently, 76% of TransMilenio’s trunk component consists of zero-emission fleets. This new initiative will increase this percentage to 79 per cent.

At the system-wide level, the proportion of low and zero-emission fleets will increase from 42 per cent to 48 per cent.

It is estimated that the reduction in emissions will decrease CO2 by 33,300 tons per year, equivalent to planting 1,700 trees in the region.

About dates and financing of the sixth phase

The selection process will be conducted through a public modality, and the results are expected to be published on 15 November.

The deadline for fleet delivery is August 2025 for lot 1 and December 2025 for lot 2.

As for the electric charging infrastructure, its maximum delivery is scheduled for November 2025.

This process seeks for the concessionaire to create their own design and implement the most efficient solution to meet the operational design needs.

To achieve these objectives, two basic partners will be needed: the bus manufacturer and the provider and operator of the electric charging infrastructure.

The “La Sexta” depot can be used for parking, fleet preparation, maintenance, intermediate charging station, regulation point, and infrastructure development to meet the fleet’s needs.

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