In keeping with his commitment to “electrify” Bogotá’s transportation system, Mayor Gustavo Petro organized a workshop on May 17 to discuss the logistics of increasing this C40 City’s hybrid and electric bus fleet.

Titled “Zero Emissions Buses for SITP” (the city’s Integrated Public Transport System), the workshop brought together important stakeholders from the city government, Bogotá’s TransMilenio Mass Transport System, bus operators, and banking and technology experts, in addition to more than 200 attendees. Their conversations revolved around the positive impacts, technological apprehensions, subsidies, and infrastructural problems of plans to increase the city’s number of hybrid and electric buses.

The workshop comes as part of Bogotá’s commitment to promote the development and implementation of clean public transport systems that can replace fossil fuels, mitigate climate change, and improve public health.

The city began testing new bus lanes, zero-emissions routes, and hybrid and electric buses in late 2012, with the official installation of electric vehicles occurring in stages throughout 2013. In March 2013, the city unveiled plans to install zero-emissions, all-electric buses in partnership with Express del Futuro, a leader in Bogotá’s mass transit industry. The plans are part of the city’s major revamping of its TransMilenio Mass Transport System, which aims to shift thousands of buses over to hybrid or electric technology by 2014. The city is also implementing such plans as increasing the number of electric taxis, a project already underway.

The Mayor’s plans to revamp TransMilenio have included visiting international experts, as well as bringing in specialists to conduct field tests of hybrid and electric buses to ensure proper consideration of Bogotá’s challenging geography. The city has also mobilized the operators of the fleet, giving them considerable decision-making power and the ability to respond to the needs and interests of the city, and has worked with the World Bank to study possible financing options.

For more information on “Zero Emissions Buses for SITP”, as well as Bogotá’s electric bus program, click here.