Palma's bus fleet is being renewed. | Archive

Tender specifications for new buses to be acquired by Palma's EMT bus service include a number of new requirements. The buses will need to have wifi, a USB for charging mobiles and the wherewithal to pay for tickets with bank cards or with a phone. The company is currently working with the regional government on fare harmonisation with the TIB Majorca-wide bus services and on software development to make payments.

Other demands in the tender include improved fire prevention systems, video surveillance and information panels.

EMT will be buying 95 buses that run on natural gas. The budget is 30 million euros and covers the period from this year until 2020. Diesel buses, some up to seventeen years old, are to be phased out. The company says that this will lead to a major reduction in pollutants. Estimates are for an 81% decrease in particulates, a 92% cut in nitrogen oxide and a 63% fall in non-methane hydrocarbons.

The new buses will be longer - 18 metres rather than 12 metres - and they will be articulated (bendy buses). Capacity will increase by 35%. They will all be adapted to the needs of people with reduced mobility.

The tendering manufacturers are Iveco España, Scania Hispania and Evobus Ibérica.