Bratislava bids farewell to iconic urban buses

Low emissions and increased comfort are among the benefits of 70 modern buses coming to the capital.

Farewell ride of Karosa busFarewell ride of Karosa bus (Source: TASR)

For more than 30 years iconic soft red buses roamed the streets of Bratislava. Now the capital's public transport company is bidding farewell to the old Karosa buses. On Saturday, the buses went on their final drive through the city.

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"The blocky Karosa buses were an iconic Czechoslovak vehicle," said chair of the board of directors Dopravný Podnik Bratislava (DPB) Martin Rybanský, as quoted by the TASR newswire. "Many Bratislava residents will remember the experience of being on board upon seeing them. However, times have changed and we in the public transport company are doing everything we can to ensure the ride in our vehicles will be the most pleasant."

Related article New buses will soon travel the streets of the capital Read more 

New additions to the bus fleet

Two types of buses roamed the streets of Bratislava. The first type was smaller, introduced in 1981 and serving until 2011. The second type is longer and articulated. It entered the city in 1991. Thanks to many repairs, upgrades and regular maintenance, they served until November 2021.

"The innovation of our bus fleet brings a new era of public transport into Bratislava, such as air-conditioned and low-floor vehicles with other modern technologies," said Rybanský, as quoted by TASR. "On one hand I will miss the Karosa buses, but on the other I'm happy with the new additions in our bus fleet."

The capital's public transport company ordered 70 Otokar Kent C. buses, some of which have already started travelling the streets, mainly the lines with capacity problems.

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Related article Nearly as many cars as people. Statistical yearbook says a lot about Bratislava Read more 

Wifi and USB chargers

Bratislava Mayor Matúš Vallo hopes these low-emission vehicles will motivate inhabitants and visitors of Bratislava to use public transport more. Their interior is equipped with hygienic leatherette seats and stainless steel handles. There are also blue seats reserved for passengers with reduced mobility and reserved areas for wheelchairs, prams and bicycles. WiFi and USB chargers are also available.

The new vehicles will meet the most stringent emission standard, according to the carrier.

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