One of my first ever posts was related to the buses of Rio. Back then I used to churn out a post a week and each one was a lot longer than the ones I write now. That particular post contains illustrated advice on how to hail a bus, an assortment of anecdotes and even a film recommendation (you lucky people!).
Little did I know it at the time, but I would go on to become something of a bus nerd. I guess it is the same everywhere, when you use a transport system every day then you take an interest (I remember having in-depth discussions back in London over what was the best underground route for getting from Baker St to South Kensington during rush hour).
So I admit it, I’m kind of into the buses here in Rio. And something cool is roving the streets right now. Something hi-tech, something luxurious, something (dare I say it?) space-age in appearance.
Ray from American Heart, Brazilian Soul mentioned that the Metrô Na Superfície bus at the end of yesterday’s post looked nice. Well Ray, check this out:
I think it’s that streamlined glass capsule at the front that really does it for me. So far I have only had the pleasure of viewing these as they glide past, but someday soon I would like to get in and take a ride (just hope I can contain my excitement when the time comes…).
But seriously, they do look good don’t they? They have much lower floors than the old buses, I’m sure they have better suspension and it looks like they’ve got awesome air-conditioning too.
I am told that the old buses weren’t really designed as buses at all – the bus companies took a truck chassis and simply dropped a bus body on top – this would certainly explain the bumpy ride. Apparently a lot of them were made by Mercedes (the Mercedes truck division) which led bus passengers to joke “See you tomorrow everyone – my driver is taking me home in the Mercedes”. Well that joke won’t work with these new buses (they’re made by Scania), but if the bus system continues to improve, cariocas won’t want to joke about them anyway. They’ll probably join my fan club instead!