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1000 stars for Bucharest: Transport operator in Bucharest opts for Mercedes-Benz bus technology
- Romanian capital will soon have 1000 Citaro urban buses in service
Stuttgart/Bucharest – On December 11, EvoBus Romania S.R.L handed over a further consignment of Mercedes-Benz Citaro urban buses to the Romanian transport operator Regia Autonom ă de Transport Bucureş ti (R.A.T.B.). These are the first vehicles from a follow-up order for 500 urban buses. Some 500 Mercedes-Benz Citaro buses have already gone into service in the Romanian capital during the course of the past two years. By the end of 2009, R.A.T.B. will have a total of 1000 Mercedes-Benz Citaro urban buses on the road in Bucharest. "Bucharest already set new Western European-style standards in Romania when it took delivery of these sophisticated Mercedes-Benz low-floor buses in 2006. By introducing state-of-the-art vehicle engineering, the Romanian capital is leading the way for the entire Eastern European region", said Michael Göpfarth, head of EvoBus GmbH, at the vehicle hand-over in Bucharest. The Romanian capital aims to use the new Mercedes-Benz Citaro to make local public transport even more attractive and efficient. This move is seen as an important pillar in the economic development of the entire region, according to Lord Mayor Adriean Videanu.
Transport operator R.A.T.B. has a fleet of around 1500 buses and coaches, which it runs alongside trams and trolley buses. By opting for the Mercedes‑Benz Citaro, the Romanian capital is investing in state-of-the-art vehicle engineering of proven long-term quality. Each of the new urban buses will be able to carry a total of 103 passengers – 27 of them seated, including four spaces for people with restricted mobility and room for one wheelchair – on regular-service routes in Bucharest. Three doors and a kneeling function make it easy to get on and off the bus as well as ensuring a swift flow of passengers. Air conditioning and sliding upper windows allow the interior temperature and ventilation to be adjusted to suit the season. Drivers reach the fully enclosed cab via a separate entrance at the front and have a total of five video cameras for monitoring the interior, the entrance area and the rear of the vehicle. Passengers receive information via sophisticated IBIS (integrated on-board information system) units with on-board computer, while a GPS, a radio communications unit and a W-LAN connection are used for traffic and fleet management and for transferring vehicle data to the schedulers at the depot. Power comes courtesy of six-cylinder in-line engines that develop 210 kW (286 hp) and are equipped with extremely fuel-efficient BlueTec 4 diesel technology. These powerplants are paired with four-speed automatic transmissions, including pushbuttons for selecting the transmission modes. A high degree of driving safety is assured by technology such as an electronic braking system, anti-lock braking system (ABS) and acceleration skid control (ASR). Further aspects of the Citaro passengers appreciate include the passenger-friendly low-floor design as well as the bright and welcoming interior offering ample headroom. The Mercedes-Benz urban buses delivered during the course of the past two years have been praised above all for their pleasant interior climate, ramps for wheelchair users or prams and kneeling function.
The Mercedes-Benz Citaro goes from strength to strength and is already one of the best-selling regular-service buses of all time. Unit sales of this highly successful urban bus – first unveiled in 1997 and further enhanced in several key areas since then – are approaching the 20,000 mark. The vehicle has already become a familiar sight in the major cities of Western Europe. And now the capitals of Eastern Europe are also showing a keen interest, Romanian transport operator R.A.T.B. being a case in point. Furthermore, an international jury comprising bus and coach journalists from 17 European countries crowned the Mercedes-Benz Citaro "Bus of the Year".
Today the Mercedes-Benz Citaro bus family includes a wide range of bus variants, covering local public transport requirements across the board on urban and rural regular-service routes. Drive systems which meet the Euro 4 and Euro 5 emission standards as well as voluntary standards such as EEV (Enhanced Environmentally-friendly Vehicle) make the Mercedes-Benz Citaro a futureproof investment, particularly since ecological aspects are becoming increasingly crucial. This urban bus also forms the basis for a test fleet of 36 fuel-cell buses and for the recently unveiled Mercedes-Benz Citaro G BlueTec Hybrid bus. Plus the longest Mercedes-Benz urban bus produced in series to date, the Capa-City for up to 193 passengers, was developed based on the Citaro.