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Santos [BR] - Restart of trolleybus services announced

K. Budach - 07.08.17

After a year of interruptions, the resumption of trolleybus services is expected shortly in Santos. The city's only trolleybus line 20 was temporarily closed in March 2016 because of construction work in the city center. Until now, dismantled power lines along a street junction prevented the relaunch of services, but this will be rectified shortly

The city's electrified ring line has been in use for over 20 years. On weekdays four trolleybuses are required to run the circuit. A total of six Brazilian-built trolleys constitute the entire fleet. Numbered as 5302-5307, they were produced by Mafersa/Villares in 1988 and are nearing the end of their life-cycle. 5305 and 5306 have been badged up with all-over vinyls showcasing historical buildings from the city, although the covered-up windows do not create any added value for passengers! The other four trolleys still feature the simple 1990s livery with white base color.

During the disruption period, a diesel-electric hybrid bus operated on the ring line 20. It's deployment is expected to continue in the future, as it uses the electric motor to start-up and then switches to diesel mode, thereby saving about 35% of fuel compared to regular diesel buses.

Santos once had a trolleybus network that was much more extensive than the present ring line as last remnant. From 1971 onwards the trolleybus lines replaced the former tram routes, utilizing up to 35 Fiat trolleys for public services. The last of these vehicles were withdrawn in 1993, with most of the old lines already closing before that during the 1980s.

Santos trolley 5303 remains in the same white livery today, as it was seen in 2009 while running on line 20. Photo: Alon Dreerman

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