Kaunas public transport continues its renewal: 64 more new buses will be purchased

 Passengers of buses and trolleybuses in Kaunas have been using the newest public transport in Lithuania for several years. Its average age exceeds even the average of European Union countries. Soon, the of city buses will be significantly rejuvenated. Having completed one of the largest projects in the history of public transport last year, “Kauno autobusai” is continuing to modernize its bus park next year, another 64 new “MAN Lion’s City” hybrid buses will roll out onto the city streets.

 Economically and environmentally friendly

The last few years have left a bright record in the annals of Kaunas public transport. Last year, “Kauno autobusai” completed the implementation of 24 million euros worth contract bought and put a hundred new MAN Lion’s City hybrid buses on the streets. In addition to them, another 25 “Temsa LF12”, 56 lower capacity “Mercedes-Benz” buses and 85 “Solaris” trolleybuses were purchased in just a few years.

While all of them are successfully running through the city, the main passenger carrier of Kaunas city does not stop and continues to purposefully improve the service.

This week, contracts were signed for the purchase of 64 new hybrid buses powered by compressed natural gas and electricity – 39 standard size (12 meters) and 25 three-axle (18 meters). Their total value is 21.5 mil. euros. The public procurement tender was won by the company “Adampolis” that submitted the best offer.

“The price offered by the winner was in fact the most competitive – 291 thousand euros for one 12 meter bus and 407 thousand for the triaxial. We have checked and evaluated the buses of this manufacturer in both: terms of fuel consumption and emissions, thus we believe that this project will be beneficial to the city. We aim for modern buses to run in Kaunas, because public transport is an essential step towards sustainable mobility.” – says Mindaugas Grigelis, CEO of UAB “Kauno autobusai”.

 Will appear next year in autumn

For the first time in Kaunas, new three-axle, 18 m long “twin” buses will be introduced, they will carry about 130 people and will cruise the routes with the highest passenger flows.

The well-known and recognized German manufacturer MAN introduced more environmentally friendly, economical, modern design buses equipped by  “Euro 6” emission standard engines. It is estimated that the new “MAN Lion’s City” hybrid buses will save about 694.2 tons of CO2 per year compared to the old buses. Moreover, the and fuel consumption will decrease by as much as 15-18 percent.

“The first buses should reach Kaunas in the second half of next year, the rest – at the end of the year.” – promises Vytautas Keršys, the regional sales manager of UAB “Adampolis” MAN manufacturer’s representative in our country”.

In environmentally friendly hybrid buses, the durable electric motor will use electricity when the vehicle starts from a standstill and store it when braking. The advanced hybrid technology that converts stored energy will not only optimize fuel consumption and emissions, but will also reduce environmental noise – the sound of these vehicles’ movement will be minimal.

 Attention to passenger safety

Passenger comfort is one of the most important aspects when purchasing new vehicles. Both parents with strollers and people with disabilities can travel comfortably in low-floor buses. Comfortable and ergonomic seats, interior LED lighting and air conditioning system, USB connections – all attributes that are indispensable when traveling in the cabin of a modern bus. Passengers will find all this in the new MAN hybrids.

While improving the technical specifications of the new buses, a great deal of attention is paid to ensuring the safety of passengers. The planned four video surveillance cameras will record the roadway and passengers in the cabin. There is also a built-in security system related to disembarking passengers – when the vehicle moves, the door opening is blocked, and when the door is opened, the brake system will automatically activate.

The prestigious assessment confirms that the buses purchased are the safest and most advanced: “MAN Lion’s City 12 G”, presented in the 2019 Busworld Awards competition and won in the Safety Label Bus category.

Last year, with the addition of one hundred MAN Lion’s City hybrid buses to the Kaunas bus park, the age of public transport operating in the city became the youngest in Lithuania and even lower than the European Union average – 6.16 years. The 64 new purchases coming next year will significantly improve this indicator.

 Proven innovations for the future

“We hear a lot of prompts  to switch to public transport instead of our own cars. You can invite with words, speeches, but it is much better to take concrete actions. Kaunas does exactly that. Now we have the park of buses and trolleybuses, that we have never seen before, but we are not standing still and looking forward.

Kaunas is growing, the population and density are increasing, so we must ensure that people move comfortably and quickly enough in the city. The new buses, I have no doubt, will definitely contribute to that.” – Kaunas Mayor Visvaldas Matijošaitis is convinced.

In addition, the mayor notes that modern composters have been operating in Kaunas public transport for some time now the ticket purchasing and marking system has become even more convenient. In four years, the “Žiogas” system has been used more than 50 million times. Other municipalities are increasingly mentioning their desire to connect and use such a platform.