Stuttgart/Dubai – At the 59th UITP Congress (International Association of Public Transport) Mercedes‑Benz will be presenting the Citaro – the undisputed number one, the worldwide best-seller among the urban regular service and inter-urban buses whose never-ending success story sees it cruising along from one sales record to the next. Four forums at the Mercedes-Benz stand will additionally present the Group's activities in the fields of bus rapid transit (BRT), alternative drives and car2go. The car2go project demonstrates the Group's involvement in the area of networked mobility. As part of the UITP's Expo Forum programme, Mercedes-Benz experts will be presenting the "Implementation of omnibus-based public local public transport in an environment characterised by fast economic and population growth" and a "Manual for the design and evaluation of BRT stops".
The Mercedes-Benz Citaro forms the backbone of the company's product range for public local transport. More than 30,000 Citaros have been built since series production was launched in 1998, spanning a development process which continues up to the present day. Not even its developers could have conceived of this level of success when they first presented the vehicle at the UITP Congress in Stuttgart in 1997. The Citaro has always been a trend-setter for regular-service buses, embodying an essentially modern character and championing innovation. This has spawned exceptional economy and reliability for transport operators. Its recipe for success is simple: it is all about reflecting customers' needs. The programme for the world’s top selling low-floor regular-service bus is highly diverse, comprising 28 different design variants. A modular system makes this unique variety of models possible and permits tailor-made customised solutions. The spectrum ranges from the compact Citaro K measuring 10.5 m in length through the four-axle, 19.54 m long CapaCity articulated large-capacity bus to alternative drive concepts featuring EEV, gas, hybrid and FuelCELL hybrid variants on the basis of the Citaro. With this unique product range, the Citaro covers the entire transportation requirements of bus companies providing regular urban and rural public transport services.
The Citaro has even won an entry in the Guinness Book of Records as the largest ambulance in the world: in the autumn of 2009, official jurors confirmed that a large-capacity rescue vehicle based on the Citaro offered the necessary capacity to treat and transport 123 persons. The record-winning articulated bus has an overall length including the rear rescue compartment of 20.03 m and is based in Dubai. 350 Citaros are already on the road in Dubai – 300 rigid buses and 50 articulated variants. These vehicles are provided with special insulation, special glazing and air blowers in the entrance areas to combat the extreme heat of this sheikhdom in the Middle East.
A three-door Citaro K will be on show at the Mercedes-Benz exhibition stand as a current example from the urban bus segment. This three-door variant measuring 10.5 m in length is the latest addition to Mercedes-Benz's modular urban bus system, with the capacity to transport 87 passengers. This configuration enables even faster boarding and alighting for passengers. The Citaro K was previously only available with two doors.
Alongside the "short" Citaro K, Mercedes-Benz is also presenting the even "shorter" smart fortwo at its exhibition stand. The exhibit forms part of car2go, the innovative mobility concept from Daimler. On the road to sustainable mobility, car2go has been developed as a fully flexible system for urban traffic which is simple to use for the customer. Whenever a car is required, it can be hired spontaneously on the road or booked using a mobile phone, smartphone or on the internet from home. The vehicle can then be used for as long as it is required and subsequently returned to any available public car park within the car2go operating zone. The customer is billed per minute. The price includes tax, insurance, mileage and fuel consumption. The car2go business model is currently available in the German cities of Ulm and Hamburg and in the Texan capital of Austin.
The demand for innovative mobility concepts is booming. According to a forecast by UITP, the effects of global mega-trends such as population growth, increasing urbanisation and climate change will lead to a twofold increase in public local transport volumes worldwide by 2025. In major cities such as Tokyo, Mumbai, Peking or Mexico City, total gridlock has long become a daily reality. This results in restricted mobility – which, in turn, means a diminished quality of life. City and traffic planners are working on solutions, evolving innovative concepts such as the organised and collective use of cars. With car2go, the car2gether car-sharing project, the smart ebike and the escooter, Daimler is working on sustainable mobility solutions to complement public local transport. The focus is on networking and organising all means of transport in the most effective manner possible.