Conseil General des Departments Bas-Rhin (capital: Strasbourg) buys 52 Setra regular rural-service buses of 12 m, 14 m and 15 m in length
Quality, engineering, fuel consumption and low operating costs prove decisive in the public tender
Member companies of new operating company CTBR opt for Setra regular rural-service buses on the back of decades of good experience
Comfortable features and fittings for the regular rural-service bus models include larger seat spacing, wheelchair spaces and handicapped lift
The supreme administrative authority (Conseil General) of the French department of Bas-Rhin (capital: Strasbourg) has placed a major order for Setra regular rural-service buses in France. 52 vehicles of the Setra MultiClass 400 line offering 51, 59 and 65 seats and measuring 12 m, 14 m and 15 m in length will be delivered in Strasbourg by the end of October.
The first buses have been handed over to the president of the Conseil General, Guy‑Dominique Kennel, whose authority is responsible for local public transport. The Conseil General is the administrative tier, on an equal footing with the department's politically appointed prefect. Comprised of 44 administrative districts, its president is elected by the 44 district administrators.
"The new buses are crucial to the expansion of regular public transport services in the greater Strasbourg region, by means of which we aim to reduce the volume of traffic," president Guy-Dominique Kennel emphasised at a press conference of the Conseil General in Strasbourg. The Conseil General's manager of local public and school transport, Franck Siegrist - Setra's direct point of contact who was also responsible for purchasing the buses - went into greater detail on the decision to opt for the Setra bus brand: "What decided the matter in Setra's favour was the fact that the brand provided the best solution in terms of quality, engineering, fuel consumption and ongoing operating costs on the basis of our criteria and tests. In addition, these appealing vehicles also enable us to offer a highly attractive means of transport for local passenger services."
And Holger Suffel, Sales Director at EvoBus GmbH, added that "Setra buses are the vehicle of choice for customers seeking a bus which combines the ultimate in comfort and individuality with maximum reliability and optimum life-cycle costs." He expressed his delight at the new order from Alsace, which he saw as further confirmation of the buses' standing.
As part of a scheme evolved this year to improve transport structures in 2009 and 2010, the department of Bas-Rhin is investing around 160 million euros in roads, road maintenance, buses and the railways. The Setra regular rural-service bus models S 415 UL (12 m long with 51 seats), S 417 UL (14 m and 59 seats) and S 419 UL (15 m and 65 seats) are equipped with environmentally friendly Euro 5 engines rated at 220 and 260 kW. These buses offer seat spacing of 72 cm, as compared to the customary 68 cm, and also boast spaces for wheelchair users and a handicapped lift, air conditioning and a state-of-the-art video-based passenger information system inside. Delivery of the entire order is to be completed by the end of October.
The "Compagnie des Transports du Bas-Rhin", CTBR
The department of Bas-Rhin (North Alsace) with Strasbourg as its capital has a population of over one million and extends around 100 kilometres from the Palatinate Forest in the north to the town of Sélestat in the south, not far from Colmar. As the French departments are currently in the process of drafting new transport plans, it is quite likely that the Alsatians' decision in favour of Setra buses will lead the way for similar purchases in due course. The new buses are being delivered to the operating companies of a new parent company, the Compagnie des Transports du Bas-Rhin (CTBR), which has been established as an efficient partner for the long-standing rural-service bus network 67 (réseau 67). The number 67 stands for the department's official number. Réseau 67 now comprises a total of 65 lines covering the entire department, as the establishment of CTPR, which operates 24 of the 65 lines – the remaining 41 lines being run by private bus operators – has enabled new connecting lines to be put into operation.
Among the four bus transport companies which comprise CTBR, two are long-standing Setra customers – the municipal transport undertaking CTS from Strasbourg and the Mugler company from Ingwiler. The other two partners are the internationally operative transport company Transdev and Striebig from Brumath near Strasbourg, which has been an active business partner of Daimler AG in the field of logistics for several decades.