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Bergen's fossil-free bus fleet enters commercial service

The roll-out follows 18 months of preparation after the city’s public transport authority awarded multi-modal transport operator Keolis a 10-year contract to operate 138 green vehicles.

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One of the Solaris trolley buses in operation in Bergen
One of the Solaris trolley buses in operation in Bergen

Norway’s second-largest city of Bergen’s 100 per cent fossil-free bus fleet has gone into commercial service.

 

It aims to reduce CO2 emissions by 85 per cent over the life of the 10-year contract. Replacing a diesel bus with an electric vehicle reportedly saves some 50 tonnes of CO2 a year.

 

Green vehicles

 

The roll-out follows 18 months of preparation after the city’s public transport authority, Skyss, awarded multi-modal transport operator Keolis a 10-year contract worth over 400 million euros to run and maintain 138 green vehicles in June 2019.

 

The network features 27 lines and services including the Bergen light rail network, a hospital and a train station.

 

The fleet features 102 all-electric Yutong buses (88 x 12 metre buses and 14 x 15 metre buses), 10 Solaris trolley buses, and 26 Volvo HVO2 buses). They are expected to run a total of 5.7 million kilometres a year, reducing CO2 emissions by around 85 per cent over the life of the contract and improving quality of life for Bergen’s nearly 300,000 inhabitants.

 

As part of the preparation, Bergen’s Mannsverk bus depot was upgraded and outfitted with recharging infrastructure able to charge up to 91 buses simultaneously. Overnight charging takes five to six hours, and enables the buses to run for seven to 10 hours, depending on operating conditions.

 

Bergen’s multi-modal operator Keolis has run Bergen’s light rail system for the past 10 years, and the new bus network makes it a multi-modal provider in the city, offering passengers a more integrated mobility experience.

“Working with the PTA, we will focus on rebuilding passenger trust in the wake of the pandemic, and welcoming people back for safe, comfortable, green journeys aboard this brand-new fleet”

“We are delighted with our partnership with Skyss, and pleased that Keolis is able to help make sustainable infrastructure and sustainable communities a reality for the people of Bergen,” said Bernard Tabary, CEO international, Keolis Group.

 

“Working with the PTA, we will focus on rebuilding passenger trust in the wake of the pandemic, and welcoming people back for safe, comfortable, green journeys aboard this brand-new fleet.”

 

The launch of Bergen’s new network is part of a series of recently or soon-to-be deployments in countries including: Denmark, where the Group will operate a fleet of mainly electric buses in Greater Copenhagen from June 2021; Sweden, where Keolis will start operating the biodiesel bus network between Gothenburg and Borås in December 2021; and the US where Keolis is deploying electric buses in Reno (Nevada), Foothill (California) and Greensboro (North Carolina), and has just launched a new bus network, using mainly natural gas, in Victor Valley (Southern California).

 

In 2019, Keolis contributed to the launch of a 100 per cent hydrogen bus rapid transit (BRT) service in the French city of Pau, a world-first for an 18-metre BRT vehicle. Also in 2019 in Amiens, Keolis launched the first 100 per cent electric BRT service (43 buses) in Europe.

 

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