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City-News Archive

Lecce [IT] - Second Trolleybus Route Began on 2.2.2013

J. Lehmann - 04.02.13

Finally, almost a year after the opening of the first trolleybus line on 12.01.2012, trolley buses began service on 02.02.2013 on the circular route, once planned as line 1, but now numbered 30 and 31. The two trolley bus routes are currently served every 40 minutes, each with one run. A second run in the rush hour for a 20-minute service has been dropped since the last timetable change on 1.1.13. It takes about 40 minutes to complete the 4.5 km route around the city centre. As there are virtually no layover breaks, any delay causes disruption to the service. So in the first few days the police ensured that the trolley buses were not impeded by illegally parked cars in the reserved bus lanes.

In the autumn the local press announced commencement in December, but once again this day was postponed because of the complexity of the testing and approval process by the Department of Transport . The last inspection was carried out on Monday, 28.01.13, and the Ministry of Infrastructure and Transport issued the required approval, so that trolleybuses could operate the circular route from Saturday 02.02.2013. Now the documents required for the approval of the third line are being compiled. This is route 27, the route with the greatest frequency. Together with the express buses it is at times served on an 8-minute frequency. This route to the University (originally planned as route 2) would finally complete the trolleybus system. "Step by step", said President of the SGM, "the complex process of approval and commissioning of trolley buses has been completed." A further 15 drivers have been trained; the trolleybus service now has 27 drivers.

Eleven of the twelve trolleybuses are now in service. Just before the opening, three vehicles received their approval. One trolleybus was left behind with Van Hool in Belgium for testing and adjustment work at the company. As an example, Kiepe has updated the software on vehicles, some of which are already seven years old. The first trolleybus was tested in September 2006 in Solingen and presented to the press.

Translation: Martin Wright

In May 2012 route 29 operated as the only trolleybus route. At this roundabout, route 29 meets routes 30 and 31, which circle the city centre. Photographer: Peter Haseldine

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