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The first electric buses will be used to train bus drivers in June.

On Friday, June 14, 2024, Jaap Bierman, general manager of HTM, and Joost van der Bijl, director of Daimler Buses Netherlands, presented HTM's latest buses. This concerns 102 eCitaro and eCitaro-G buses, the first zero-emission buses in HTM's fleet, which will be delivered by Daimler from the summer of 2023. These buses are an important step in making public transport in the The Hague region more sustainable.

“With these new buses we not only offer our travelers more comfort, but certainly also our bus drivers a beautiful, new workplace. The buses have a modern and fresh interior and are also quieter. We are therefore pleased that we have made this possible thanks to our client MRDH, because it is an enrichment for our beautiful city of The Hague and the Hague region,” said Jaap Bierman during the presentation.

The investment in these electric buses is a result of the collaboration between HTM and the Rotterdam The Hague Metropolitan Region (MRDH). Jeffrey Keus, public transport portfolio holder of MRDH, emphasized the importance of this collaboration: “The intention is that by 2030, zero-emission buses will only be in operation in the 21 municipalities that work together in the Rotterdam The Hague Metropolitan Region. In this way, the public transport companies contribute to a region in which you can live and work comfortably.”

The first electric buses have been put into use since June for the training of bus drivers. Bierman explains: “The bus drivers and our technicians have been involved from the start and are curious about how the eCitaro buses function in practice.” These buses will be intensively tested in the coming months, for example in terms of battery life and range. “This autumn we expect to phase in the first 12 meter eCitaro into our timetable, followed by the 18 meter buses at the end of this year. In about a year we will be the first city transporter to offer completely emission-free public transport,” says Bierman.

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Arjen Kapteijns
Photo: Councilor Arjen Kapteijns (Groenlinks)

Councilor Arjen Kapteijns (mobility) of The Hague is enthusiastic about the new buses: “The introduction of these environmentally friendly buses is a wonderful example of innovation in the field of sustainable mobility. We want to make traffic in The Hague emission-free, free of harmful emissions and we can only do that together. The fact that the buses are quiet and comfortable makes it even better. I am pleased that HTM is contributing to the transition to a sustainable and liveable The Hague with these new buses.”

An important improvement of the new eCitaro is its accessibility for electric wheelchair users. Bierman: “I am happy and proud to report that this is a thing of the past with the arrival of the eCitaro. Thanks to a simple construction, users of electric wheelchairs are also very welcome. We have extensively tested this securing option with positive results.” For the arrival of the 18-meter articulated buses, some bus stops will be adapted in collaboration with the municipality of The Hague. This ensures that passengers on bus lines 23, 24, 25 and 26, where the 18-meter buses will run, can easily get on and off.

The new buses are also equipped with modern amenities such as USB charging points and cameras instead of side mirrors. In addition, HTM is responding to the trend of contactless travel. “Many bus passengers have discovered the convenience of checking in and out with their debit card. You can also quickly purchase the desired ticket via the updated HTM app. Buying a ticket from the bus driver will soon no longer be possible,” says Bierman.

The renovation of the bus garage on Telexstraat in 2023 was crucial for the commissioning of the eCitaros. The site has been completely renovated with charging stations and other facilities. ABB E-Mobility and Batenburg Techniek took care of the installation. “A great piece of work because it was a matter of trying and measuring with the space. Our public transport colleague EBS will eventually move to a new bus garage in Poeldijk. Because once we have received all the eCitaros, that space will really be needed,” says Bierman.

Photo: © HTM – from left to right: Jeffrey Keus, portfolio holder OV MRDH, Jaap Bierman, general manager HTM, councilor Arjen Kapteijns (mobility) municipality of The Hague

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