The Trolleybuses of
In 1979, after the first oil
crisis, Brazil's Transport Ministry created a
work group to develop a pilot project for trolleybuses in medium-sized cities.
Ribeirão Preto, in the interior of São Paulo state, was chosen and
Transerp - Empresa de Transporte Urbano de Ribeirão Preto,
a mixed economic enterprise, was created in 1980.
The routes were planned, construction began on the
workshop/depot, and 22 trolleybuses were ordered to Mafersa,
with Caio body and electric equipment by Villares - all Brazilian firms.
The first line, route 207, connecting the depot with city center,
was solemnly inaugurated on 30 April 1982 in the presence of
Mayor Duarte Nogueira, TV Ribeirão and the local press.
Revenue service begun on 24 July 1982.
Ribeirão Preto was the 12th city in Brazil, the 32nd in Latin America
to be have an electric trolleybus system.
New lines opened regularly: on 7/8/1983 to Jardim Independência,
on 15/4/1984 to Vila Virgínia, on 1/12/1988 to Hospital das Clínicas,
and on 15/06/1992 - the fifth route -, to Iguatemi.
More routes and more passengers meant more vehicles and
the fleet was increased in 1992 - with 16 new diesel buses.
These began running alternately with trolleybuses on some lines.
In 1996, acknowledging their environmental advantages but faced with
progressively higher electric rates, and ever lower gasoline prices
(Brazil is now a major oil producer), Transerp tried to eliminate
trolleybus service. Six more diesel buses were bought.
A new administration decided to keep the electric system,
but opposition forces were strong and three years later,
conquered but not convinced, it gave up.
In the early hours of Saturday 3 July 1999, the last Transerp trolleybus
returned to the depot and electric transport in the city came to an end.
Neither mayor nor TV cameras were present.
(* - Read in Portuguese what was reported.)
Transerp's seven routes were divided among the
city's three major private bus operators, which will operate
air-conditioned vehicles powered by diesel motors.
(click on the photos to enlarge)
Morrison visited the Ribeirão Preto
the mid-1980s and again in May 1990,
Praça Carlos Gomes Transfer
later years trolleybuses and diesel buses
Two nice views of Ribeirão
pictures taken at same spot - 17 days apart:
(enlargeable) map at right,
Unless the error is admitted and the Ribeirão Preto system
RETURN TO PORTUGUESE SPEAKING TROLLEYBUSES
RETURN TO ELECTRIC TRANSPORT IN LATIN AMERICA
(*) I sincerely thanks Vitor Cervi and his newspaper Verdade (Truth) of Ribeirão Preto, who alone reported the closure of the trolleybus system. Sr.Cervi also sent basic historical data on the system and the black and white photographs shown on this site (Read the entire newspaper article, in Portuguese).
Editions: first - 2000.08.05;
last - 2004.07.10
Portuguese text: email@example.com
English text: firstname.lastname@example.org