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Mobility Measure

Developing clean collective transport

In an experimental measure, La Rochelle Urban Community introduced two hybrid buses over a two-year period to shuttle commuters between a park and ride facility and the city centre.

Implementing sustainable mobility

As part of its efforts to implement less-polluting transport solutions, the Urban Community of La Rochelle has made efforts to introduce electric vehicles into its fleet via a number of CIVITAS SUCCESS measures. In addition to a car-sharing scheme based on electric vehicles and the use of electric goods delivery vehicles, the city also experimented with the use of diesel-electric hybrid minibuses to ferry commuters between the Jean Moulin park and ride facility and the city centre. This made it possible to test the impacts of hybrid technology on emissions of pollutants and energy consumption.

How did the measure progress?

An extensive study of hybrid technology was carried out by the Urban Community of La Rochelle and the city’s School of Industrial Systems Engineering (EIGSI). A decision was made to rent two hybrid vehicles, and to establish a partnership between the Urban Community, the transport operator, and the manufacturer (GRUAU) in order to test the vehicles.

Two distinctively branded 22-seat hybrid minibuses with low floors and wide doors, making them fully accessible to those with reduced mobility, were put into operation between November 2006 and October 2008 on one route between a park and ride facility and the Old Harbour in La Rochelle (2.8 km).  For two weeks in 2008, a Horiba 200 electric minibus was tested on the same route.

What were the outcomes of the measure?

The performance of the hybrid buses was disappointing, with low levels of reliability and greater maintenance requirements than for electric vehicles and for Euro 4 diesel engines. The test showed no reduction in emissions of nitrogen oxides, and no significant reduction in fuel consumption. Despite this, there was a positive perception among the public due to interest in and support for clean urban public transport.

Basic Information

November 2011

Thematic Areas