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Coimbra: BRT E-Bus project delayed and no more trolleybuses

Caetano/EFACEC/Kiepe trolleybus built in 1984, on line 103 | © Dirk Budach

The start of operation of the electric bus project ‘Metrobus’ on its own route (BRT) within the Portuguese university city of Coimbta and on a 39 km long interurban route to Serpins will be further delayed. The new opening date is now late summer 2024. Also, no e-buses have been ordered yet, 27 rigid buses and 13 articulated vehicles are needed.

Meanwhile, the Coimbra city council has also announced that the city’s trolleybus service, which has been suspended on the last two lines 4 and 103 since 23 March 2021 due to road works, will not be resumed in the foreseeable future. The overhead is still largely intact and 5 trolleybuses are still operational, but a resumption is not to be reconsidered until the Metrobus construction work will be entirely completed, i.e. in two years at the earliest. Due to the age of four of the five trolleybuses – they are now 38 years old – a reopening as a kind of heritage route might be considered, according to the council.

Under these circumstances, the return of normal passenger operation on the country’s last trolleybus system seems rather unlikely. We reported in detail on the situation in the city here:

No power: Trolley booms down – the last few trolleybuses stored at the depot | © Dirk Budach
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Movimento Cívico
Movimento Cívico
1 year ago

Excelent article, Dirk! You just forgot to mention that Coimbra’s (now) terminus station in the downtown is doomed to shut down in the beginning of 2024.

A bit more context on this issue: https://twitter.com/mcencoimbra/status/1504922648417034244