The Council of Coimbra indicated that the SMTUC today has 78 buses (43% of the total) immobilized, in a press release that the municipality justifies with the need to clarify the population for “the divestment” that urban transport “has targeted over the past few years.
According to the note sent to the Lusa agency, "there are buses immobilized for more than 400 days or even a case of a vehicle immobilized since January 28, 2021, i.e. 707 days ago", underlined the executive headed by the Ensemble Nous Are Coimbra coalition (PSD/CDS-PP/Nós, Cidadãos!/PPM/Aliança/RIR e Volt), which won the municipal elections in 2021, beating the socialist Manuel Machado, who was running again in the elections .
“There are 78 buses immobilized, including 70 'standards' and 8 minibuses. These figures reflect the extreme aging of the SMTUC fleet, with an average of around 16 years, including a significant number of buses over 25 years old, some of them included in the scrapping process, a measure already taken by the current executive. “, underlined the Council of Coimbra.
In a note in which the SMTUC office's daily travel table updated to date is made available to journalists, the municipality points out that the average bus immobilization is 117 days, with a total of six immobilized vehicles. since before taking possession. of the new executive.
"The current executive of the Coimbra City Council and the SMTUC Board of Directors have worked, during this first year of mandate, to solve the problems of the SMTUC, inherited from recent years", underlined the municipality, recalling also the proposal for the internalization of Transport Urbanos, which ended up being rejected in the Municipal Assembly, where the coalition does not have a majority.
According to the Chamber of Coimbra, a fleet renewal strategy is being developed, which “will be presented in the future”.
However, the Municipality noted that the economic effects of the war in Ukraine and the resulting increase in fuel and energy expenditure increased SMTUC's operating costs by more than two million euros.
The municipality also pointed out that a call for tenders is open for the acquisition of 22 new electric buses, worth more than nine million euros and with European funding, with the vehicles expected to arrive at the end of 2023.
The Chamber continues "to wait and prepare requests for new calls for funding that allow this renewal and the consequent improvement of the public transport service", he concluded.
The buses immobilized at the SMTUC have been the subject of regular discussion during executive meetings, with the PS accusing the municipality of a lack of management and strategy, and the coalition Juntos Somos Coimbra criticizing the state in which transport urban were left by the previous socialist executive.
JGA // JEF