Keolis has begun operating an electric bus rapid transit route between Bayonne and Biarritz

FRANCE: Keolis has begun operating a 100% electric bus rapid transit route between Bayonne and Biarritz on behalf of public transport authority SMPBA .

According to Keolis, the service is designed to be simple for passengers to understand and use, with the 30 stops having real-time passenger information and ticket vending machines.

The 12 km route launched last month largely uses dedicated lanes and has priority at traffic lights. Services run from 05.30 to 00.30, extended to 02.30 from Thursday to Saturday, with daytime headways of 12 min and a journey time of 30 min.

The 10 battery buses supplied by Irizar are 18 m long with 150 seats with USB sockets and large windows. They can be charged in 3 to 4 h in the depot overnight, or topped up with fast charging in 5 min at the termini.

A second e-BRT route is to be launched next year between Bayonne and Tarnos, with a further eight vehicles.

The e-BRT services form part of a larger overhaul of the Chronoplus regional bus network which Keolis has operated since 2017. The operator and authority are predicting that ridership will increase by 25% from the current figure of 9·5 million passengers/year by the end of 2023.

  • Keolis is to launch a hydrogen BRT route in Pau by the end of the year.