Latvian city Valmiera gets greener public transport

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Next week, Latvia's northern city Valmiera will launch more environmentally friendly public transportation – electric hybrid buses that can save fuel and reduce air emissions, Latvian Radio reported October 21

This is the first time Valmiera gets new buses since the restoration of independence in 1991. This has been achieved through co-financing by the European Union's Cohesion Fund.

The transport company VTU Valmiera said that "all the time we got second-hand buses, in the 90s they were given away from Sweden, then later we bought cheap ones from Germany, and these are now brand new, from the factory."

''They work on diesel engines, while at the same time recovering energy and charging the battery when the brakes are hit. It is suitable for urban routes, where there are frequent stops, crossings, and the like, at braking times such a diesel engine actually produces the most emissions.(..) It both saves fuel and decreases emissions," said VTU Valmiera board chairman Oskars Spurdziņš.

The costs altogether amount to EUR 3 million, of which nearly 2 million are covered by EU funds. Despite the costs, ticket fare will not rise.

The head of Solaris company buses in the Baltic States, Rolands Katkevičs, said that Valmiera's bus procurement is the greatest in volume in the Baltics.


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