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Cities Research Seminar Series: Deciphering business models for complex investments: Low and zero emission buses in Santiago, Chile.

The city of Santiago, Chile is currently preparing for the renewal of its 6,000+ fleet of buses which will happen in a scaled manner between 2018 and 2020. This renewal presents an immense opportunity to invest in “cleaner” bus technologies such as hybrid and electric buses. An opportunity that won’t happen again until 2028. Although investing in cleaner buses seems like a safe bet, the challenges of carrying out such investments are considerable, even more in a Santiago, where user fares are relatively low, fare evasion is high, and there have been little investments in accompanying bus infrastructure in the past few years. Buses in Santiago, currently serve over 560.000 trips during peak hour (almost twice as much as the metro), so there is little room for error. The seminar will present WRI’s research around business models for low- and zero-emission buses, including our recommendations to the Ministry of Transport of Chile for the inclusion of incentives and changes in their contractual and operating models, that we hope will give cleaner technologies a level playing field to compete against diesel buses.

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Speaker: Sebastian Castellanos

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