Volvo unveiled the chassis for what it's calling the largest bus in the world at the FetransRio exhibition in Rio de Janeiro last week. Destined for service in South America, the Gran Artic 300 will have room for 300 passengers inside its bendy bi-articulating body when it reaches production.
When it comes to hauling passengers, bigger is always better, and Volvo has taken that to new heights with the Gran Artic 300. The five door, four axle bus will be a staggering 30 meters (98.4 ft) long, a full eight meters (26.2 ft) longer than the next largest Volvo bus launched at FetransRio.
The company says that just one of the new buses will be able to fulfill the role of three regular ones, reducing congestion and cutting down on emissions. The new model will hold 30 passengers more than the bus it replaces, helping lessen wait times for passengers in peak hour.
As you might imagine, these vehicles won't share the road with regular traffic. Instead, the Artic 300 is designed for dedicated bus rapid transit lanes – high demand bus networks running in dedicated lanes, where pesky car drivers can't get in the way.
"This vehicle will provide more efficient transportation systems, offering a higher quality for the passengers and improved cost efficiency for the transport operators," says Fabiano Todeschini, head of Volvo Bus Latin America.
The new bus will initially be rolled out in Latin America, but Volvo is pushing to expand the popularity of bus-based rapid transit networks worldwide, so perhaps it won't be too long before you're hailing this monster in your local town center.
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