The traditional horse-drawn carriages are disappearing from the streets of Guadalajara as the municipal government follows up on a commitment to put a stop to animal abuse. The carriages that traverse the city’s historic center are being replaced with electric-powered replicas.
Mayor Enrique Alfaro Ramírez this week presented an example of the new electric carriages, which are to replace the fleet of 55 traditional carriages by this time next year.
The first 10 will arrive in Mexico’s second largest city during the next four months. A second batch of 22 carriages is expected to arrive in the first half of 2018, and the third and last batch of 23 in one year’s time.
The decision to replace horse-drawn carriages followed a year of discussions with local animal rights advocacy groups, said the mayor.
“We cannot continue to mistake the idea of tradition with animal abuse. That no longer has a place in Guadalajara; we’ve put a stop to it today,” said Alfaro.
The new carriages will operate on extended routes and with an updated set of regulations created by the municipal Secretariat of Mobility.
Designed by the Guadalajara firm Advanced Power Vehicles, the vehicle is equipped with a 10-horsepower electric motor that can drive the carriage at speeds of up to 25 kilometers per hour. The battery is good for 45 kilometers carrying six passengers, a driver and a copilot.
The horseless carriage will also have the usual vehicle lights, using LEDs, and passengers will be able to plug into four USB charging jacks.
Guadalajara’s 55 existing carriages are pulled by 110 horses, all belonging to the carriage owners themselves. The municipal government reached an agreement with them, and none of the animals will be sold.
Instead, they will have the option of keeping them or donating them to animal shelters or interested individuals.
The municipal animal protection office will monitor the condition of the 110 draught animals once they are retired.
Source: Milenio (sp)