Mercedes-Benz BRT systems
Bus Rapid Transit (BRT)

Mercedes-Benz BRT systems

The first BRT system originated in Latin America in the 1970s, when rapid growth in urban populations began causing tremendous problems for urban traffic. The combination of tremendous demand for transport services and insufficient financial means cried out for an innovative solution. A new cost-effective transport system was thus developed which enables mobility for all sectors of the population and has meanwhile won recognition worldwide. The success of BRT has contributed to expansion of this system worldwide, so that today over 160 BRT systems are in operation and many more systems are either under construction or in the planning phase. Mercedes-Benz buses are successfully operating in BRT systems all around the world, ranging from extra long articulated buses to minibuses providing feeder services. Together with our experience with maintenance and spare part procurement, as well as tailor-made financing solutions, Mercedes-Benz buses contribute decisively to the success of the BRT system.

In the last decade numerous BRT systems have been implemented in France; Line "G" in Strasbourg  can be considered a prime example. The French variant of the BRT system is called "Bus à haute niveau de service" (BHNS) and is tailored to the needs of European cities. Strasbourg is famous among urban planners for the successful re-introduction of the tram in 1994. Almost 20 years later the city was seeking the best possible connection for the northwest neighbourhood with the main station, and studied, together with the extension of the tram network, the implementation of a BHNS system.

After an economic feasibility study, discussions with politicians and a study about an extension of a tram line, the decision was made in favour of a BHNS system. After a construction time of less than a year, the line was inaugurated on 30 November 2013. Apart from focusing on planning an optimised bus lane, modern stations and buses, great attention was given to the marketing aspect and to integrating the system in the existing traffic network. This was achieved with, among other things, a common ticket system, a dynamic passenger information system and consistent integration of P+R (Park and Ride) and B+R (Bike and Ride) along the route.

Other examples of successful implementation of European BRT systems can be found in Nantes/France, Saint Nazaire/France, Granada/Spain and Amsterdam/The Netherlands.

 

The BRT Metrobüs system in Istanbul, Turkey is a successful answer to the special requirements of Istanbul, this city straddling two continents. A population explosion, its special location on the Bosporus, and a disproportionately high increase in passenger car registrations are examples of local challenges which BRT must meet as a future-oriented, sustainable transport solution What makes the Metrobüs System unique are a very high average speed resulting from urban motorway routing, high-frequency service and increased comfort. The 250 Mercedes-Benz CapaCity buses and a further 360 Mercedes-Benz Citaros and Conectos are key factors in the system's success, and this success has led to expansion of the system several times.

Rio de Janeiro hosted the 2014 FIFA World Cup Brazil and in 2016 is once again hosting another major sporting event: the Olympic Games. Such huge events are a challenge for a city in different ways: in particular, in respect of public transport. Transport issues have to be solved in a way to cover the high demand during the event, but also in a manner appropriate for the local population after the games. Thus, most of the 2014 World Cup host cities decided to go for a flexible and cost-efficient solution: BRT systems. The total planned BRT system in Rio de Janeiro includes several corridors with a total length of 157 km. The first 60 km long BRT corridor – Transoeste – was opened in 2012: just in time before the start of the World Cup. The system is designed to cope with a large volume of passengers. The design of stations and vehicles – extra-long high-floor articulated buses – is adapted to this requirement. In addition to the normal lines, the system features express lines that do not stop at all the stations. Rio de Janeiro BRT has 101 23m buses, 161 18m buses and 26 12m buses from Mercedes-Benz operating on feeder lines throughout the entire system.