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According to Robert Calcagno, adviser to the government for Infrastructure, Environment and Urban Development, it was not an easy project to undertake. Carefully planning, combining varying elements were required to ensure the Bateau Bus idea integrated seamlessly into the existing public transport system and that the service would operate in the harbour without causing pollution and noise. The electric bus concept fits in perfectly with the Government of Monacos soft modes of transport services that are non-polluting and is intended to facilitate movement while reducing the use of private cars or buses, which they initiated more than a year ago. The operation of the Bateau Bus was entrusted to the owner Pierre Brezzo, director of the Navigation Riviera Monaco Company, who originally conceived the concept for the electric shuttle.
The bootsman uses Fischer Panda digital panels while crossing to control each DE-Drive
The Bateau Bus was designed and built by Italian Shipyard Teknokat who specialise in deck-boats, houseboats and pontoons. The Fischer Panda team provided assistance during setup of the system.
The actual crossing takes about 20 minutes. The service allows travellers to extend their trip via a bus ticket which can be punched through so the journey can continue on land. The Bateau Bus operates as part of the Monegasque Bus Network (the official urban transport system in Monaco) and provides a pleasant way for tourists to cross the Monte Carlo Harbour. Even residents, especially those working on the Rock or the cruise lines, also benefit from the device.
The government will be observing the project until summer 2008 with the possibility expanding the service and including more Bateau Buses.