This is a story about improving people’s quality of life, showing social responsibility and calling on others to dedicate themselves to a cause. In many towns in Germany, community buses help people, especially the elderly, to lead largely independent lives.

And just at a time when more and more people are in need of help. In recognition of this fact, the town of Meschede in the Sauerland founded its own community bus association, Bürgerbus Meschede e.V., on 19 September 2011. Although somewhat unusual, the founding of the association also marks an anniversary. The local association is taking delivery of the 100th community bus in North Rhine-Westphalia (of which 30 were manufactured at the minibus plant in Dortmund): a Mercedes Benz Sprinter Mobility 23. In addition to the Sprinter Transfer, Sprinter Travel and Sprinter City, the Sprinter Mobility is the perfect choice for city, intercity and shuttle transport and can accommodate up to eight passengers. Its extensive range of features is especially tailored to the needs of passengers with restricted mobility, and the comfortable seats and spacious seating layout – which come as standard – have been designed with this application in mind. As well as rails and wide doors, this model can also be fitted with a range of wheelchair ramps and lift systems to make it easier for passengers to board. A rail system on the floor is installed as standard, which provides flexibility in arranging seats and wheelchairs in the passenger compartment.

When delivering the anniversary bus, Daimler area salesman Dirk Surkau presented chairman of “Bürgerbus Meschede e.V. Wolfgang Droste with a symbolic key. The Sprinter Mobility is fitted with an 80kW (109 bhp) CDI engine (Euro IV standard) with a 6-speed transmission. Many features guarantee a high level of passenger comfort and convenience, such as all-round glazing with heat-insulating glass and a sun filter on the front windscreen, an electric sliding door and an extendable step, an additional heat exchanger in the passenger compartment, electric warm-air heating and a 5kW auxiliary hot-water heater.

In terms of safety technologies, the 100th community bus is fitted with an anti-lock braking system (ABS), acceleration skid control (ASR), brake assist (BAS) and electronic brake force distribution (EBV) combined with ADAPTIVE ESP as standard. Additional features include a rain/light sensor, an adaptive brake light function, and heated wing mirrors. It provides optimal ergonomics for the driver and a suspension seat offering superior comfort.

As with all the minibuses, the Sprinter Mobility 23 is based on the Sprinter van, which was first launched in early 2006, and which set new standards in terms of appearance and technical features. The joystick gearshift, driver ergonomics resembling a car, extensive stowage facilities, and remote-controlled central locking are some of the many additional benefits. The anniversary bus was fitted out as a community bus at Mercedes-Benz Minibus GmbH, the Daimler AG minibus plant in Dortmund.

In many rural areas, community bus associations cover transport routes which are important for the local people but are uneconomical or inaccessible for large local transport operators. As this work is carried out by associations and volunteers, it has to be as economical as possible – Mercedes-Benz minibuses are best equipped to achieve this objective .

Source: Daimler AG