- Setra leads the way in long-distance regular services
- “berlinlinienbus.de” takes delivery of five coaches
- Setra touring coaches are the first long-distance regular service buses with two wheelchair spaces each
- Major step forward for the independent mobility of the handicapped
The company “berlinlinienbus.de” (blb) has started a major initiative in long-distance regular service with five new Setra touring coaches. The two S 516 HDs from the Setra ComfortClass 500 and the three double-decker S 431 DTs from the Setra TopClass 400 are each equipped with two wheelchair spaces. This means that they already comply with the requirements of German passenger transport legislation, which prescribes this number of seating facilities for the handicapped for new vehicles in long-distance regular service from January 2016.
For blb general manager Jörg Schaube it also means that his company can take a pioneering role in long-distance regular service with the five new Setra touring coaches: “Our philosophy is to offer our passengers the highest quality in terms of comfort and safety at all times. It was therefore a logical decision for us to work with Setra and implement the legal requirements of tomorrow right now. This makes us the first company in Germany already able in 2014 to offer buses to this standard in long-distance touring operations.”
But that is not all. “One of our objectives is to renew our bus fleet by 2020, so as to equip all our vehicles with two wheelchair spaces,” says Karsten Schulze, who manages the Berlin-based long-distance operator together with Jörg Schaube. berlinlinienbus.de currently has 100 buses in operation.
ComfortClass 500 buses with a patented handicapped lift
The two S 516 HDs from the Setra ComfortClass 500 are each able to accommodate 53 passengers. The touring coaches are equipped with the “Kinemaxx 300” handicapped lift patented by EvoBus, which is integrated into the luggage compartment on the right side behind the divided lift flap to the rear of the front axle. When in the lowered position, the platform is very close to the vehicle by virtue of supporting arms that are directed inwards, which gives wheelchair users plenty of manoeuvring space on the bus-stop boarding platform.
The three double-decker S 431 DTs from the Setra TopClass 400 are each fitted with 80 seats, and feature a low entry with a folding ramp allowing access to the wheelchair spaces. Passengers on all five Setra touring coaches are guaranteed free WLAN connectivity. Every seat row also has power sockets that allow computers or mobile phones to be charged. The vehicles are equipped with the very latest safety technology. This includes proximity cruise control with Emergency Braking Assist (ABA) and Lane Keeping Assist.
Association of bus operators serves 300 destinations in Germany and Europe
berlinlinienbus.de is an association of several large, medium-sized and well-known German bus operators who currently serve around 200 long-distance destinations in Germany and 100 places in Europe. The association includes operators such as Bayern Express & P. Kühn Berlin GmbH (BEX), Regionalverkehr Dresden (RVD) and Autokraft (AK) in Kiel, which belong to the German railway company Deutsche Bahn AG, as well as HARU-Reisen and Steinbrück-Reisen.
The head of the PR department at Deutsche Bahn AG for matters pertaining to the handicapped, Ellen Engel-Kuhn, commented as follows on the introduction of the five new Setra buses in Berlin: “I am very pleased that wheelchair users will now find it even easier to travel in the vehicles of berlinlinienbus.de. This is another major step towards the independent mobility of members of the public with physical handicaps.”