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Cancun moving to modern public transport with the order of 100 new BRT buses

Cancun, Q.R. — The Metrobús project for Cancun that was announced earlier this Fall has been replaced with a different bus system that will offer features such as GPS and WiFi.

Earlier this year, transit authorities were considering a metrobús project for the city of Cancun, however, after additional studies, officials have found the buses are too heavy for Cancun streets. Instead, officials say the city has opted for a Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) system which are shorter and lighter units.

Santiago Carrillo Sánchez, director of the public transport company Autocar, explained that 100 of the new buses have already been ordered with a price tag of 2.5 million peso each. He explained that the buses are 12 meters in length, offer GPS, WiFi, surveillance cameras and room for 45 passengers.

These particular buses are made of aluminum and weigh nine tons each, a weight that Cancun roadways can handle.

“The problem of the Metrobús is that the unit weighs about 24 tons and requires concrete pavement of a certain specification that we not have in Cancun, that’s why we are going with the BRT, a similar concept,” he pointed out.

He added that some of the buses will arrive in February, and by that time, city transit officials will have specific lanes ready for bus-use only.

Carrillo Sánchez added that Autocar will be responsible for the buses while the Department of Transportation and Roads will work on the necessary infrastructure adjustments and road logistics to reduce travel time.

For the first stage, the new buses will operate along Kabah-Zona Hotelera and the second José López Portillo Avenue to Tulum. Eventually they will be used among other urban routes that are consider feeders, however, the first buses to arrive will cover the Cancun Hotel Zone where they are hoping to establish express circuits.

“The largest volume of people is from kilometer zero to Plaza Caracol with the second being Plaza Kukulcán. You will have routes that cover only those areas and the time of transfer will be reduced by half,” he said.

The BRT bus system is the same system used in other Mexican cities such as Aguascalientes and Monterrey.

“They are going to bring in 100 units, nothing more. The plants will deliver them in 10 working weeks, around the end of February. There are already some pilot units circulating in the Hotel Zone.

“They have WiFi, GPS, surveillance cameras and space for 45 passengers and the possibility of automated collections,” he added.

The new units are completely ecological with the Euro 5 standard and Dureal components that ensure heavy diesel engines comply with strict European standards, he said noting that he expects there will be a public transit rate increase once the new buses arrive.