Estonia’s largest public transport operator, Aktsiaselts Tallinna Linnatransport (TLT), which provides transport services in the Estonian capital, has ordered 20 Urbino 12 and 30 Urbino 18 CNG buses from Solaris. Tallinn has thus decided to exercise the option provided in the contract concluded in July 2021, under which 100 Solaris gas vehicles had already been purchased. Deliveries are scheduled for September 2022, and once they have been completed, a total of 350 gas-powered Solaris buses will be running along the streets of Tallinn.
So far, Solaris has delivered over 260 CNG buses to Tallinn. Aktsiaselts Tallinna Linnatransport (TLT), the public transport operator in the Estonian capital, has been ordering batches of CNG buses from the manufacturer since 2019. The last contract from July 2021 was for 100 vehicles, including 35 articulated Urbino CNG buses, of which over 60 have already been delivered. On 26 January 2022 TLT decided to go for the option of purchasing additional buses, i. e. 20 Urbino 12 CNG and 30 Urbino 18 CNG units. The new order is to be completed in September 2022, and its value stands at almost €15 million.
“Of course, it is in our common interest that public transport in Tallinn would be environmentally friendly, comfortable, and safe. Therefore, two years ago we decided to invest in gas buses and two years later the TLT bus fleet was replenished with 350 ecological buses. We will be able to reduce CO2 emissions by 25 thousand tons per year, which is comparable to the annual carbon dioxide emissions of 7,000 passenger cars with internal combustion engines. This is especially significant because in 2023 Tallinn will become the Green Capital of Europe,” said the Deputy Mayor of Tallinn Andrey Novikov.
“By acquiring another 50 Solaris gas buses under the option agreement, we will achieve our goal of 70% renewal of the bus fleet. By the end of this year, we will replace old-generation buses with new, environmentally friendly, and modern vehicles that meet the expectations of passengers and are also convenient for people with disabilities. This is especially important for us because this May marks the 100th anniversary of Tallinn bus traffic and the new environmentally-friendly buses will mark the beginning of a new history of public transport, which is especially relevant in the context of the green capital of Europe,” said Deniss Boroditš, Chairman of the Board of TLT.
If we count all the orders executed so far, the gas fleet in Tallinn will comprise 350 environmentally friendly Solaris buses, including 195 12-metre and 155 articulated buses. It is worth mentioning that the current year is a very special one for the carrier – TLT celebrates its 100th anniversary. Thus, the green vehicles will be quite a gift for the passengers of Tallinn, one of the leading smart cities in Europe.
“First of all, I would like to extend my sincerest congratulations to TLT on these impressive 100 years! This is an amazing anniversary and I am extremely pleased that in this special year our company can contribute to TLT reaching its ambitious goal of boosting Tallinn’s public transport with as many as 350 gas buses. I would like to congratulate on this huge and bold investment in the modern and environmentally friendly urban transport. It shows a great deal of trust towards us for which I thank you profusely”, said Petros Spinaris, Solaris Bus & Coach Board Member responsible for Sales, Marketing and Customer Service.
The newly ordered vehicles, regardless of their length, will be equipped with a 235 kW engine adapted to use compressed natural gas (CNG) as fuel. An additional cold start function will facilitate starting the engine at very low temperatures. CNG storage tanks will be placed on the roof in the front part of the bus. In the 12-metre buses, the tanks will have a total capacity of 1575 litres, whereas in articulated buses they will boast 1875 litres.
The operator has again opted for high equipment standard for both the passenger compartment and the driver’s cabin. In the air-conditioned bus interior passengers will benefit from a state-of-the-art, comprehensive passenger information system, USB ports to recharge mobile devices, and a surveillance system to enhance security. What is more, the buses will be fitted with an automatic passenger counting system, reversing sensors, an engine fire detection system and an automatic extinguishing system with alerts displayed on the driver’s panel. Safety will be enhanced by a fully enclosed, comfortable and ergonomic driver’s cabin, which is particularly relevant during the pandemic. In addition, rain and dusk sensors will aid the driver when driving in unfavourable weather conditions.
For the first time, Solaris vehicles made their way to the Estonian capital exactly two decades ago. Apart from CNG buses, Solaris has also delivered zero-emission Trollino trolleybuses to Tallinn.