VDL Citea DLF-114

First Low Floor double-decker to BVG

Berlin Transport Authority (BVG, Berliner Verkehrsbetriebe) has taken delivery of the first VDL Citea DLF-114 Low Floor double decker. It will be trialled by the company prior to anticipated deployment into service in the Spandau borough of Berlin, from early October. BVG has a long history of double deck service bus operation and is more associated with the concept than any other German major operator.

CEO of BVG, Dr. Sigrid Evelyn Nikutta commented, ‘We are pleased to be the first large passenger transport company to have the opportunity to extensively test this new vehicle. We are also curious to see whether the VDL double decker meets our stringent requirements with regard to comfort, quality and efficiency during the testing phase, and whether this bus could be a useful addition to the existing BVG fleet.’

Both passengers and drivers will be surveyed for their feedback as part of the trial. A key aspect of the tests is the flow of passengers between the two levels and monitoring this against the waiting time at the stops and the occupancy of the lower and upper decks. This is assisted by two staircases and a visual display on the lower deck allowing passengers to see how many seats are available on the upper level, thereby assisting boarding and alighting time.
The Citea DLF-114 11.4m bus can accommodate up to 97 passengers, offering maximum efficiency from a two-axle vehicle, VDL claim. Its low emissions and proclaimed excellent fuel economy help to fulfil both the economic and environmental requirements of modern day city traffic.

Optimum use is made of the modular system around which the Citea range is built. Like the single deck models it is of light weight, low floor construction with an overall low net weight. It uses the 6.7-litre Cummins ISB6.7E6280B engine rated at 280hp (209kW) at 2,100rpm, developing 1,100Nm of torque at 1,200-1,600rpm. The gearbox is the ZF Ecolife 6AP1200 six-speed fully automatic and the axles are also ZF. The overall design weight is 19,500kg split 8,000kg/11,500kg front/rear.

Features include USB connections to the upper deck seating, heated floors to the boarding area, a bright and welcoming interior and LED lamps on the staircases and treads. Kerb lighting and ribbed hand grips at the second door offer visually impaired passengers better orientation when boarding and alighting.

This is the first vehicle of its kind from Dutch manufacturer VDL Grope in the double deck bus segment for city transport operations, although they do offer a double deck coach in their Synergy range.

GM of VDL Bus & Coach Deutschland, Silke Todter, commented,
‘We are proud to present the very first Citea double- decker in the world to BVG for use in their practical testing, and we are very pleased that BVG have once again placed confidence in us.’ Earlier this year BVG began taking delivery of an order for 236 of VDL’s single deck Citea LLE model.

BVG are Germany’s largest municipal transport company, carrying three million people on their network of buses, trams and metros in Berlin each day – almost the equivalent to the city’s population providing a 24/7 operation.

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