Bus Photo of the Month: February 2019

TecnoBus Gulliver 10

TecnoBus Gulliver 10

Location: Via Florida at Largo Argentina, Rome, Italy
Operator of Vehicle: ATAC
Date of Photo: January 29, 2008

Many bus systems throughout the world are beginning to make a strong push towards electric powered vehicles. However, some agencies have already experimented with electric buses, to varying degrees of success.  In 1995, Rome ordered nearly 60 Gulliver electric buses from TecnoBus to run on a handful of routes that could not handle standard size buses.  These buses, in addition to being less than 6 meters (18 feet) long, also did not create vibrations that would damage old buildings in and near the city center.  The original fleet has been since been replaced by newer buses around 2010.  Unfortunately, the entire fleet was sidelined in 2014 after several buses caught fire.  Last year, the Rome municipality and TecnoBus reached an agreement to “revamp” the buses in an effort to get them back on the street.  More recently, TecnoBus was purchased by the Italian firm Enertronica.

For more photos of Rome’s TecnoBus Gulliver buses, please click here.

Bus Photo of the Month: January 2018

BredaMenarinibus M221 233

BredaMenarinibus M221 233

Location: Piazzale Roma, Venice, Italy
Operator of Vehicle: Azienda del Consorzio Trasporti Veneziano (ACTV)
Date of Photo: March 10, 2008

When one thinks of transit in Venice, Italy, one usually thinks of vaporettos (water taxis) or gondolas, not buses.  And when American transit fans think of Breda, they think of trains, not buses.  Yet here we have a photo of a Venetian bus built by Breda.  Venice has transit modes other than its famed vaporettos.  ACTV not only operates the vaporettos but also has a fleet of over 600 buses serving the islands of Lido and Pallestrina, as well as the Venetian boroughs located on the mainland.  In 2010, ACTV began operating a tram line, the first in the region since 1941.  Meanwhile, Breda is known for its rail rolling stock, which can be found in cities such as Rome, Madrid, Barcelona, Washington, and Boston.  However, it also manufactured buses, mostly found in Italy, for over 25 years, and also some trolleybuses in cities around the world.  Transit is often predictable, but there are often surprises to be found, such as this, as well.

For more photos of buses in Venice, please click here

Oren’s Reading List: When Building a Subway in Rome…

CAF MA100 Stock RA-357.0 at Manzoni, May 2, 2008

When the first two lines of the Rome Metro were constructed in the 1950s and 1980s, there were many delays in finishing the project.  As Rome is one of the oldest cities in the world, each time an archeological discovery was made during construction, experts were called in to evaluate whether the uncovered items needed to be preserved before construction could proceed.  The Rome Metro isn’t by any means the only transit system that has faced this sort of issue.  The Jerusalem Light Rail construction was delayed several times by archeological finds.  And construction of Mexico City’s subway has turned up many archeological findings from the Aztec empire.

When Rome began planning construction on its third Metro line, it was announced that the line would be constructed deep enough to avoid possible archeological findings, and only that at stations might where connections would need to be made between the station platforms and street level might there be issues.  Well lo and behold, in constructing the Amba Aradam station, crews came across barracks dating to the second century.  The barracks cover an area of 9600 square feet and include 39 rooms, complete with mosaics and frescoes on the walls and floors.  How long do you think it will be before they unearth something else?

Rome Metro Line C is scheduled to open in 2020.  You can see photos of the barracks and other findings at the Amba Aradam station site by clicking here.

Oren’s Reading List is an occasional feature on The Travelogue in which I share articles that I’ve read that might also be of interest to the readers of this website.