World’s Largest Bus in Curitiba
On the 318th Anniversary of Curitiba, the city unveiled the Ligeirão Azul, the largest bi-articulated bus in the world, at 28 meters in length and carrying up to 250 passengers. The new bus will carry 45 percent more passengers than the existing bi-articulated buses, which have seating for 170.
The Ligeirão, or “Fast Transit” system is part of a system of direct lines that uses exclusive lanes and has fewer stops than the city’s traditional express line (bi-articulated red buses). Since they don’t stop at all tubes and have priority at traffic signals, Ligeirão buses reduce travel time.
The new vehicle also has a signal that illuminates when doors open, designed to accommodate the hearing impaired, as well as the name of the line inscribed in Braille in the arms and backs of the seats reserved for the disabled, the elderly, and pregnant women.
In addition to carrying a larger number of passengers, the Ligeirão Azul will run on soy-based biodiesel fuel, reducing pollution emissions by 50 percent over gasoline. Additionally, it has sensors that guarantee right-of-way at traffic lights.
The delivery of the nine blue-colored Ligeirão buses is part of project began last year to improve public transport. According to City Hall, 24 blue bi-articulated buses will be utilized, replacing the red buses along the Pinheirinho-Carlos Gomez (Green Line) and Ligeirão Boqueirão.
The Ligeirão Boqueirão, which today completes one year in operation, reduces the district-to-downtown travel time by 15 minutes. Today, it travels the length of 20.5 km in just 20 minutes. The interval between buses during peak hours of the day is five minutes. There are only five stops, while the normal Express bus makes 19 stops.
The blue bi-articulated bus is part of a broader project to renew the Curitiba bus fleet, which includes so-called Ligeirinhos or “fast buses”, that connect distant points more directly and do not travel in exclusive lanes. Like the Ligeirões, the Ligeirinhos are also undergoing upgrades, with new designs and new accessories for the comfort and safety of passengers.
By the end of 2011, Curitiba will have added 544 new buses, which represents over 28 percent of the operating fleet in the Integrated Transportation Network. Over the past five years, 1120 buses have been renovated.