Barquisimeto [VE] - Test drives on the first part of the system to be completed.
J. Lehmann - 11.05.09
Barquisimeto - Venezuela
January 2009 saw the commencement of test driving along the first 8 kilometres of the new BRT-System TRANSBARCA. This first stretch runs from Estación Central Simón Bolívar as far as Avenida Libertador/Calle 51. At the end of February the Venezuelan Minister of Infrastructure visited the system and partook in a test drive. His ministry is responsible for the planning and carrying out of the construction of the project 90% of which the ministry has also financed. The remaining 10% was financed by the Barquisimeto town council.
The completion of the system depends upon the financing being forthcoming. TRANSBARCA is a prestige object of the Venezuelan government and, as such, receives a certain priority. The recent fall in oil prices, however, has made severe inroads into the financial capabilities of this otherwise rich oil nation. It is for this reason that the building has only been proceeding at a slow pace in recent months. The installation of he electricity power supply, in particular, has suffered and as a result the planned opening date of the first part of the system has had to be postponed several times.
In all two routes are planned, one being 19.1 kilometres and the other 11.5 kilometres in length. As both the TRANSBARCA project and the new system at Mérdia, also Venezuela, will not only be a marked improvement on the public transport facilities in both towns but also act as a shining example for other South American countries to follow, it is hoped that the completion of the system will not be delayed for too long.
80 Neoplan/Bombardier type N6321 articulated Trolleybuses, of which the majority have already been delivered, will make up the fleet. (See our report from 25.02.2008). The fleet, therefore, is ready to go as soon as the system is completed
Text: Dirk Budach
Our photo shows a TRANSBARCA Neoplan/Bombardier Trolleybus on show in Zurich as part of the Trolleymotion conference which took place on 18/19.11.2008.
Photo: Dirk Budach
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