E-bus rapid transit line opens in the Basque country

The 12km line will be 100 per cent electric and will connect the French cities of Bayonne and Biarritz in 30 minutes and be operated by Keolis.

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10 eBRTs will link Bayonne and Biarittz and serve the main regional hubs
10 eBRTs will link Bayonne and Biarittz and serve the main regional hubs

A fully electric bus rapid transit (BRT) line connecting Bayonne to Biarritz, two cities in the south of France, has opened.

 

Keolis, which runs Chronoplus, the transport network of the Basque Country conurbation authority in the south of France operates the service on behalf of the public transport authority, Mixed Union of Ports Arcachon Basin (MPBA).

 

Dedicated lanes

 

The 12km line incorporating 30 stations will have a travel time of 30 minutes between the cities. The majority of the journey is on dedicated lanes with priority given at traffic lights.

 

The cities are linked by 10 e-BRTs which serve the main regional hubs including Bayonne’s city centre, the Forum business district, a shopping centre, the Anglet city centre and the Aguilera stadium.

 

A second BRT line, linking Bayonne to Tarnos, will be inaugurated in 2020 as part of a much larger, global overhaul of the network.

 

MPBA and Keolis are expecting a 25 per cent increase in ridership increase across the network by the end of 2023.

 

The introduction of this new fleet of 10 vehicles will be followed by eight more for the second BRT line.

 

Work required to refurbish the Bayonne depot is underway to allow for the new fleet’s maintenance and 110 employees have already been trained to operate it.

MPBA and Keolis are expecting a 25 per cent increase in ridership increase across the network by the end of 2023

Built by Spanish manufacturer Irizar, the 18-metre-long vehicles with 150 seats emit no atmospheric pollutants and significantly reduce noise and vibrations, according to Keolis.

 

Equipped with large bay windows to provide passengers with more interior light, the vehicles have improved accessibility for passengers with reduced mobility.

 

The 30 stations along the line are equipped with complete real-time passenger information and ticket vending machines.

 

These electric vehicles can be charged fast in five minutes at the terminal or in three to four hours at the depot overnight.

 

In addition to the fully electric BRT lines of Bayonne-Biarritz and Amiens (launched in May 2019), the group is working with the conurbation authority to prepare for the introduction of a 100 per cent hydrogen BRT line in Pau, scheduled for the end of the year.

 

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