Daimler Buses has been awarded a major contract to deliver 125 Mercedes-Benz feeder buses for the Gautrain Rapid Link project in South Africa. The Gautrain railway line will connect Johannesburg to Pretoria and Johannesburg’s Oliver Tambo International Airport via Sandton. The project combines the railway line with a feeder bus service to allow commuters in Gauteng province to reach the train stations quickly. The first phase of construction is due for completion in 2010. The delivery of the Mercedes-Benz buses is expected to be completed by mid-2010.
“We are proud to support this major project with our buses and thus to provide reliable and efficient mobility,” says Hartmut Schick, Head of Daimler Buses. “More and more cities are implementing new public transport concepts to handle the growing need for mobility. Such solutions can help to reduce traffic and the strain on the environment.”
The vehicles selected to service the Gautrain are Mercedes-Benz 0500U low-entry buses, which have a 35-45 seat configuration and standing capacity for approximately 17 passengers. The low-entry design makes accessibility easy for wheelchair users, young children, and the elderly. The buses are equipped with automatic transmission, air conditioning, ABS brakes, and all-round air suspension.
“The project in its entirety has created a number of local job opportunities and skills development opportunities. Together with the global investment in our plant in East London, where the bus chassis are locally assembled, it has been of great significance to us all,” says Jan Aichinger, Divisional Manager, Mercedes-Benz Buses in South Africa. The bodies are to be locally built by Busmark 2000/Caio, which is based in Randfontain near Johannesburg.
The future bus fleet will be operated by one of the leading transport companies in South Africa, Unitrans Passenger (Pty) Limited. A total of 36 bus routes will service nine key stations along the 77-kilometer Gautrain line. The 125 Mercedes-Benz feeder buses will operate on 430 kilometers of routes, covering a combined total 26,000 kilometers per day.
Source: Daimler AG