Major Order for Daimler Buses: 134 Mercedes-Benz Chassis for South Africa
- Mercedes-Benz South Africa awards Rea Vaya 1B Bus Rapid Transit contract in Johannesburg
- Deliveries to begin immediately
- Hartmut Schick, Head of Daimler Buses: “We’re proud that our buses are helping to support the implementation of modern urban mobility systems in South Africa.”
Stuttgart/East London – Mercedes-Benz South Africa (MBSA) has been awarded the contract for the Rea Vaya 1B Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) project. The South African subsidiary bid on the contract via the Sandown Motors dealership company, in which MBSA has a majority interest.
The order covers 134 Euro V-compliant Mercedes-Benz chassis that will be shipped as completely knocked down sets (CKD) from Mercedes-Benz do Brasil. The CKD units will then be assembled at the Mercedes-Benz plant in East London, South Africa. All of the bus bodies will be provided by Marcopolo, a superstructure manufacturer with headquarters in Johannesburg.
Deliveries to the Rea Vaya BRT operating company are to begin immediately. Rea Vaya manages bus routes over a distance of roughly 120 kilometers. The buses mainly serve townships outside Johannesburg that up until recently were not linked to the city’s transport infrastructure.
“We’re very proud to support Rea Vaya 1B and affordable mobility by providing our buses,” says Hartmut Schick, Head of Daimler Buses. “The fact that we were awarded the contract shows what a great reputation Mercedes-Benz buses have worldwide. More and more cities are implementing new public transport concepts to handle the growing need for mobility.”
Mercedes-Benz buses currently operate in BRT systems around the globe. For example, two Brazilian public transport companies recently added 80 Mercedes-Benz urban buses to their BRT fleets, and the brand’s buses now have a 70% market share in the BRT segment in Brazil. In Europe, Mercedes-Benz buses operate on BRT lines in Nantes, France, as well as in Istanbul, Turkey, which also relies on “Quality Made by Mercedes.” A public transport company in Singapore has procured a total of 800 Mercedes urban buses over the last two years for use in a BRT system. BRT vehicles operate on separate dedicated bus lanes; this speeds up mobility in big cities.
The Rea Vaya 1B order is for 134 chassis from the O 500 M Euro V and O 500 MA Euro V series. A total of 93 chassis will be used with complete buses, and 41 will be connected to articulated bus bodies. These will be the first Euro V chassis to be used in a BRT system in South Africa. All the buses will have high-floor chassis and powertrains whose dimensions are precisely aligned with the design of the Johannesburg BRT system.
“This order not only increases our bus sales volume in South Africa; the associated assembly and maintenance operations will also create new jobs,” says Dr. Dirk Ansorge, Head of Mercedes-Benz Buses South Africa. “As a result, the order underscores our competence as both a service provider and an employer.”
The Rea Vaya BRT system offers a key environmental benefit to Johannesburg in that it reduces CO2 emissions in the city. The new Mercedes-Benz fleet boasts state-of-the-art technology, which makes each bus a comfortable, safe, and efficient means of transport. About 20 jobs are being created for the chassis assembly operations in East London.