SOTRAMAC is one of the three concession companies of the new public transport system in Cartagena, the TransCaribe network. The 19-year concession was awarded by Cartagena District in 2014 following a bid invitation and covers part of the lines of the TransCaribe system, including its central corridor. In this context, SOTRAMAC will supply and operate 222 buses running on natural gas.
SOTRAMAC is an SPV set up and controlled by Si-99, a highly experienced Colombian BRT (Bus Rapid Transit) operator, which is also one of the current operators of the BRT network in Bogota (the “Transmilenio”).
It involves financing an urban transport project in the city of Cartagena in Colombia. This financing will allow SOTRAMAC to continue to put into service 222 buses running on compressed natural gas, which will be integrated into the TransCaribe system. TransCaribe is a harmonized bus network from a technical and tariff point of view, organized on the basis of a main BRT (Bus Rapid Transit) lane and a number of secondary lines. This new, innovative public transport system will replace traditional public transport services provided by a large number of independent and uncoordinated operators. It will revolutionize travel in the city by offering users faster and less expensive routes.
This BRT project will considerably improve urban mobility in Cartagena by creating modern and accessible transport infrastructure.
The service operated by SOTRAMAC will cover all the urban areas, including those which are far from the city center. A total of 198,000 passengers are expected every day on the 18 lines operated by SOTRAMAC (i.e. 44% of the 452,000 passengers on the entire BRT network under concession in the city).
Travel times will be greatly reduced thanks to the creation of dedicated infrastructure.
The replacement of old diesel buses by modern natural gas buses will have a significant impact on air pollution with an expected reduction in pollutant emissions. Furthermore, the project will reduce CO2 emissions by 33,000 teq every year thanks to the reduction in the number of buses and the efficiency of the system.
The project will also create or maintain 520 direct jobs, mainly for drivers, and support 457 indirect jobs (service providers). SOTRAMAC’s employees will benefit from a skills transfer thanks to training, in particular in efficient driving and fatigue management. Some 235 drivers from the old system (15% of the total number of current drivers) will be employed by SOTRAMAC. This will give these drivers access to a formal job and they will benefit from training offered by the operator.