Redacción Colombiabus – El Universo / William Marroquín
Los presidentes de Ecuador, Guillermo Lasso, y de Colombia,Iván Duque, anunciaron que el próximo miércoles 1 de diciembre, se reabrirá la frontera entre ambas naciones. Ese fue uno de los acuerdosa los que llegaron los mandatarios tras una reunión que incluyó delegaciones de ambos países, desarrollada en Quito, con motivo de la visita oficial del mandatario colombiano, cuya agenda comprende temas de fortalecimiento de la seguridad y naturalmente, la reapertura de fronteras.
Cabe recoerdar que elcierre de frontera terrestres rige desde marzo del 2020, como una de las medidas decretadas en su momento para combatir la amenaza de la Covid-19. Duque mencionó que hay el compromiso de su nación de brindar apoyo, asesoría, acompañamiento e integración de su capacidad en seguridad para enfrentar enemigos como el narcotráfico y el terrorismo.
Desde el lado ecuatoriano, el presidente Lasso indicó que reabrir fronteras no solo es el resultado de que ambos países hayan avanzado en el control de la pandemia del coronavirus, sino que da una solución a un problema de seguridad que se ha manifestado con la presencia de caminos ilegales. “Al abrir las fronteras ninguna familia ecuatoriana o colombiana tendrá que pagar la extorsión de ninguna banda de delincuentes que les cobran por el paso a través de vías alternas a las vías oficiales, que serán abiertas el próximo primero de diciembre”, manifestó el mandatario.
Así las cosas, los transportadores ecuatorianos podrán cruzar la frontera y avanzar a territorio colombiano para entregar su mercadería, y lo propio harán los de Colombia. Si bien el Puente Internacional de Rumichaca ha permanecido cerrado, dentro de pocos días será reabierto, para garantizar el control de quienes cruzan entre Ipiales y Tulcán. Todavía está pendiente el proceso para levantar las restricciones a los pasos fronterizos que unen a los dos países con Perú y permitir una movilidad internacional que conecte al norte y el sur del continente.
Tomada la decisión del Ministerio del Interior colombiano y las autoridades migratorias, de reabrir las fronteras de nuestro país, quedaba pendiente la decisión de los países vecinos, especialmente en el caso de los que tienen fronteras terrestres y por cuyo paso, dependen las rutas que unen a Colombia con otros países.
Se había mencionado que el proceso con Ecuador, era necesario espera, tanto la posesión del Presidente Guillermo Lasso, como una reunión clave con el Comité de Operaciones de Emergencia (COE), encargado de gestionar riesgos y determinar los niveles de alerta para cualquier evento. La reunión de las últimas horas, tuvo como resultado el retorno voluntario a las clases presenciales.
En la reunión también se analizó la reapertura de fronteras terrestres del país, resolviendo que permanecerán cerradas hasta nueva orden, aunque Colombia habilitó el paso por el puente internacional de Rumichaca para particulares y turistas. El Presidente del COE Nacional, Juan Zapata, ratificó la decisión debido a la situación sanitaria derivada del covid-19 que sigue afectando al mundo.
Para ingresar al archipiélago de Galápagos, no habrá requerimiento de presentar prueba PCR negativa. Así las cosas, las rutas internacionales regulares que unen a Colombia con el sur del continente, con despachos autorizados en las terminales atendidas por Expreso Brasilia, Expreso Bolivariano y la peruana Cruz del Sur seguirán suspendidas.
Colombiabus newsroom – William Marroquín / Bus Ecuador
A NEW COMPETITOR FACES HINO AK
For many years in Ecuador, the chassis that has dominated the bus market has been the Hino AK, a front-engine platform of great reliability and resistance, with 7.7 liters of displacement and capable of transporting up to 45 passengers. Their resistance characteristics, availability of spare parts, simple mechanics and facilities to access after-sales services, together with the great tradition of Hino buses in the neighboring country, have made them the super-favorite of transporters.
Several brands have wanted to confront and seek to subtract their dominance in the Ecuadorian bus scene without losing strength. International and Agrale have tried it, also Mercedes-Benz and Volkswagen with mixed results. Now Scania arrives to look for a space with a platform that has as its reference point the much preferred Hino AK, with a version with a front propeller, as the Ecuadorian transporter likes.
Scaneq, the brand’s representative in Ecuador, has begun to offer its F310 chassis, developed according to the needs of the country’s transporters, which cannot be made to a larger rear engine chassis or more attached to traditional models. Taking advantage of Scania’s great modularity and ability to configure multiple versions, the new platform reaches a broader customer segment.
“Because of the brand, the truth draws attention to the carrier. Everything will depend on the cost and maintenance required for your reception, since HINO in terms of spare parts and after-sales is super commercial”, said Luis Miguel Sánchez, head of Bus Ecuador, one of the most important bus portals in the neighboring country.
With a 9,300cc and 5-cylinder engine, it produces 310HP at 1,900 rpm and 1,550Nm of torque between 1,100 and 1,350rpm, equipped with a turbocharger, intercooler and power by pump-injector, complying with the Euro 3 emission standard in force in the country. It is complemented by the Opticruise automated gearshift and the Scania origin retarder, which contrast with the mechanical suspension, which never ceases to amaze in configuration but has a very clear objective of being close to the current leader.
The long wheelbase is also surprising, being able to reach 6,500 mm on a chassis that reaches a length of 10.7 meters at the time of delivery to the bodybuilder, who will be able to develop buses with capacity for up to 46 passengers, depending on the seating options. It is expected to be able to offer it with the applications of connected services for maximum productivity and security.
The Chassis is already available through Scaneq and at the moment, the Ambate builder Carrocerías Cepeda is preparing a bus, which should motivate other local bodybuilders. Pricing was unconfirmed, but hard work has been done to get as close to the dominant chassis as possible thus far. Finally, it is another segment where Scania was not present and everything it achieves will be profit.
Ecuador is one of the few countries in Latin America that still has a local auto body industry and that, for many years, its transporters have been served by the supply of national builders. However, in recent years, it has been seen how the transporters of the Andean nation have been more open to the incorporation of foreign buses, mainly from Brazil, China, Peru and Colombia.
A bodywork industry where great care is put into the interior finishes, although it has also been considered one of the paradises of copies, based on several of the best-selling models from all over the continent. An issue that is even already in legal proceedings, that was seen to come and that is also both a warning bell, and the opportunity for Ecuadorian builders to start, once and for all, the development of totally original creations, making the most of the potential of your industry.
Miral Autobuses, based in Ambato, is one of those few builders that shies away from copies, collecting what is set by world trends, customer feedback and market experiences.
With these bases, Miral began in 2019 the development of a luxury double-decker bus, suitable for the main 6X2 rear-engine chassis available in Latin America. A few weeks ago, it became a pioneer in Ecuador presenting its model for this road segment, marking a milestone with the new IM9DD, at the height of the most used in this region and seeking international expansion.
A launch for all of Latin America where Cooperativa San Cristóbal, which in December 2021 will celebrate 50 years of history, became the first client of IM9DD. The Tulcán company, on the border with Colombia, has recently carried out an important renewal of its fleet with which it crosses the country reaching Huaquillas, on the border with Peru.
STYLE AND DISTINCTION
In its exterior appearance, the Miral IM9DD has a mix of styles from other buses in the region, with its front with elongated trapezoidal lamps and round LED fog light units, the elements that give it its identity, along with the large external rear-view mirrors advanced. On the sides, the almost square wheel arches and the low angle of the second-level panorama give it a robust appearance.
The windows of the second level are integrated with those of the first, by means of curved side windows in the driver’s area and straight ones in the passenger area with a black glass. At the rear, the grille identifies features seen in other double-decker buses, especially the Colombian ones. A careful exterior finish allows achieving sobriety without losing appeal.
AN OASIS FOR THE TRAVELER
If the exterior looks sober, the interior immediately conveys distinction and luxury. Light gray plastic pieces and dark-toned seats combine with LED lighting for the driver and passenger areas, as well as chromatherapy. Very attractive material details and soft touch buttons for the reading lights and air conditioning vents are present on the roof rack.
Semi-bed seats, inspired by European coaches, but with greater width and thicker backrest, include calf supports combining black, gray and red stitching. Reclining up to 150 degrees, they feature memory gel technology, all equipped with three-point retractable seat belts, power outlets and individual entertainment screens.
A provision of 16 seats on the first level where the toilet is and 48 on the second, maintaining the same services for travelers on each floor, in accordance with the specification of Cooperativa San Cristóbal.
A LUXURIOUS AND MODERN OFFICE
A leather-trimmed millaré presides over the instrument cluster and brings it to a higher level where all controls are easily accessible to reduce distraction for the driver, whose seat is air-suspended and adjusts to his weight. Cabin ventilation and lighting functions are centralized in the Multiplex panel, the operator’s bedroom is also very comfortable, equipped with an audio, video and air conditioning system.
It is worth highlighting the inclusion of the ADAS active safety package and its three systems: adaptive cruise control to regulate speed and distance, automatic emergency braking and warning of involuntary lane departure; all of them act without the driver’s intervention, with sensors that capture the information to make decisions autonomously.
As if that were not enough, Miral’s IM9DD becomes one of the first Latin American buses to equip the camera system with high-resolution video monitors, so that drivers have optimal visibility, better calculate maneuvers and eliminate blind spots. They can be combined with traditional electrically adjustable exterior mirrors.
It should be noted that Miral Autobuses ensures the supply of components such as cabin thermoforming, toilets, seats, cameras and the interface to operate the entertainment screens, among others, specifically developed by its subsidiary Miviltech.
The project was defined at the end of 2019, the first chassis arrived in May 2020 at the bus plant, with a production process that was resumed after overcoming the mandatory confinement restrictions. At the premiere of Cooperativa San Cristóbal, it is expected that it will soon become an International Pan-American famous for its routes between Ecuador and Venezuela.
The bus released by Cooperativa San Cristóbal is valued at $350,000, considering equipment such as inflight entertainment and driver assistance systems. There are multiple options for toilets, refrigerators, colors, connectivity elements, seats and other accessories for transporters to configure the bus of their dreams.
A model that should motivate other Ecuadorian builders to exploit their potential, integrating engineering and industrial design, to bring transport solutions out of the natural market. Miral Autobuses took the step with an attractive bus in tune with the most popular models of the segment in the region, and it will be in the fight, because it is not lacking in arguments to compete.