Innovative prototype Bus Shuttle operating in Porto
CIVITAS ELAN, 02.03.2012
The Porto Lightweight bus shuttle has recently been put in operation. The body of this prototype is made of a composite sandwich-type structure using glass fiber reinforced polymer (GFRP) with a foam core of polyvinyl chloride (PVC).
The processing technology used was Vacuum Infusion with open moulds made of plywood with hand lay-up lamination, which is usually used to manufacture large ship hulls. The innovation lies in the application of this manufacturing process for a self-support structure for a bus body.
The prototype is based on a transformed old minibus. Its original chassis (mechanical components included) was reused, the bodywork removed, and the new composite body was assembled. The new bodywork is 380 kg lighter than the original.
The Lightweight bus shuttle was launched on 28 February and it is transporting passengers within the Asprela area between 7:30 and 20:00pm during working days .
The route goes along the H.S.João, FEUP, Polo Universitário, Agra and ISEP stops. The ride is free of charge and everyone is most welcome to experience this innovative bus.
São Martinho Bárbara