World Cup buses for Rio

The test rides with the Volvo 7700 Hybrid bus was appreciated part the buss was full.

Last week I spent some days visiting the Fertrans conference and exhibition in Rio de Janeiro and I learned a lot. Rio is a city with a broad experience of different person transports: cars, motorcycles, buses, tram, metro, ferries, cable cars and bikes.

The World Cup in football will be hosted by Brazil in 2014. Rio and several other cities in are taking the opportunity to reorganise the city transports. In Rio most person transports are conducted by bus. When walking is excluded 74% of the journeys are by bus or light bus, according to one of the speakers.

There are more than 6 million inhabitants and the metropolitan area have close to 15 million inhabitants. The old city centre originate from 1763, when Rio began as an era as capital city. The old (and nice although crowded with cars) city centre, the geography with an irregular coast line and lots of mountains and hills make the planning of the transports and roads a challenge. The number of cars have been increasing by 5.2% per year, over the last five years. The road infrastructure is growing less rapidly and in Rio further load of cars will be hard to absorb and car infrastructure will hence not solve the congestion issue.

Therefore the master plan is to increase the capacity of the most environmentally friendly public transport (buses). Buss Rapid Transit (BRT) lines, one ticketing system and feeder lines are the main elements that will be realised. When ready, the capacity of the six new BRT routs will range from 120 000 to incredible 300 000 passengers per day. Last week a public transport adviser in Stockholm told me that buses are not suitable for transporting more than 30 000 persons per day. He and Europeans in general really needs to update them selves on what modern high capacity buses are all about.

Volvo 7700 Hybrid, offers clean and silent journeys. The modern design and open spaces gives the riders more room for privacy. Increasing amounts of modern hybrid buses will increase the attractiveness for the passengers and with the right marketing and the new connected and rapid bus routs it will attract also office people that prioritise to shorten the time.

Inside the buses in Brazil, there is a place for a ticket-collector. Here a young Brazilian boy find his place for the test ride.

The most recent addition to the BRT offers was made by Neobus. The modern front and room for bikes in the rear makes make’s an attractive impression. The high floor and air suspension of the Volvo B12MA chassis gives outstanding comfort. 


I joined some of the seminars. On the Friday I presented how the hybrid technology can be used to raise the profile of public transports in Latin America. My colleague Fabio Lorencon just finished three weeks of tests with the 7700 Hybrid in Curitiba. The outcome was more than 35% savings, in relation to Volvo B7RLE. This is somewhat a surprice also for me since B7RLE is a low entry bus with fewer losses in the drive train than low floor buses.


Even if I truly enjoy the weeks at home more than the business travel, jogging along the beaches, Copacabana, Ipanera and Leblon is nice. Taking a bath in the rolling waves after jogging and drinking a fresh coconut before leaving for the airport ads to the positive memories from Chile and Brazil.



About volvobuses

Adjunct Professor of Catalysis at Chalmers University of Technology. Lives in Gothenburg, Sweden, with my wife and three daughters born in 1991, 1994 and 1997. Is a passionate runner.
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