The demo unit of the new transportation modality called IE-TRAM will be exhibited for three weeks in the main square of the three municipalities it will connect with its five routes: Mérida, Kanasín, and Umán. Then, in July, the testing journeys will begin to fine-tune all the details for the official launch in December, starting with the first two routes: Teya and Kanasín.
For now, the bus appeared in the main square of Mérida and surprised the thousands of citizens who pass through the heart of the Historic Center of the capital early in the morning to go to work or school. The fascination with the model unit was such that few could resist taking photos or even a “selfie.”
The Governor of the State, Mauricio Vila, presided over the official “presentation” of the bus, which resembles a tram and is 100% electrically powered. This avoids the emission of such a large amount of carbon dioxide (a polluting gas) that would require 170,000 trees planted over 10 years to absorb it.
In the city center, the first location where it will be presented, the Governor witnessed this innovative bus. Among other features, it has five sliding doors, low entry for the elderly and people with disabilities, reserved seats for both, adaptable aisles, information through speakers, and, in terms of technology, electronic fare collection as part of the Va y Ven system it belongs to.
“There will be 32 units; we will have the first 10 units by the end of the year, which are for Kanasín, and they will arrive at the end of November to be put into operation in December. Then, in the months of March and April, we will integrate the units that will serve the Faculty of Engineering,” said Rafael Hernández Kotasek, the head of the Institute of Mobility and Urban Territorial Development (Imdut).
Each unit will transport 105 passengers, with 33 seated, and will have a range of up to 400 kilometers. They generate zero carbon emissions and are 12 meters long, equipped with 11 cameras for a 360-degree view and 5 inside; a modular battery system designed to adapt to various needs; specific air conditioning for electric vehicles; the latest technology and safety features, including USB chargers, speed control, and a geolocator.
The demo will remain in the Plaza Grande until the following Sunday, then spend a week in Umán and another week in Kanasín. A few days later, in July, the testing of the routes and driver training will begin. It is expected that in December, the buses connecting Teya and Kanasín with La Plancha will start operating, with the other three routes being gradually incorporated.
The new transportation system will connect three municipalities, over 137 neighborhoods, 80 existing routes, and 20 tourist sites. The units will help reduce noise pollution and the carbon dioxide equivalent to what would be absorbed by approximately 170,000 planted trees over a period of 10 years.
Moreover, the routes will cover a distance of 100 kilometers, with 5 high-demand journeys linking the downtown area of Mérida with the Faculty of Engineering at the Autonomous University of Yucatán (UADY), Umán, Kanasín, Poxilá, and Teya, with designated paths for public transportation and urban mobility.