Mr. Oslin B. Sevinger, Minister of Special Development and Infrastructure of Aruba, accepted the delivery of the island nation’s fourth self-powered, pollution-free streetcar designed and installed by TIG/m Modern Street Railways, manufacturers of the world’s greenest streetcars for urban public transportation. The Aruba fleet consists of four streetcars, three of which are equipped with a hybrid electric battery/hydrogen fuel cell propulsion system and can run for 20 hours without recharging. The first streetcar in the fleet has been operating since December 2012. All four streetcars are currently conveying locals, tourists, and passengers from Aruba’s cruise ship port to and around the downtown main thoroughfare of Oranjestad, its capital.
“At first instance our vision of the streetcars project seemed crazy, but with well thought-out planning, partnership, commitment, and perseverance we made it the success it is today!” said Minister Sevinger.
At UN's Rio+20 talks, Aruba, under the leadership of the Prime Minister Mike Eman, partnered with the Carbon War Room (CWR), the global initiative founded by Sir Richard Branson and a group of entrepreneurs, to transition the island to 100% renewable energy. These partners intend to make Aruba a fossil fuel-free energy economy — a world first, if successful.
For Aruba, now committed to a fossil fuel-free future, the streetcar system is a groundbreaking example of zero-carbon rail transit. Wind farms will supply power to their grid, which will then supply power to the batteries used on-board TIG/m streetcars and the current used to electrolyze water to isolate hydrogen for the fuel cells. The only emission from the propulsion system is a small amount of pure water that can be collected for reintroduction into the electrolysis cycle or simple expelled along the route. TIG/m has created a genuinely sustainable public transportation system.
Aruba is a major tourist destination in the Caribbean for vacationing and gaming, and its port accommodates cruise lines such as Regent Seven Seas Cruises, Princess Cruises, Carnival Cruises, Pullman Tour Cruises, Thompson Cruises, Holland America Line, Royal Caribbean International, Celebrity Cruises, P&O Cruises, Seabourn Cruises, and Paul Gauguin Cruises.