VDL Bus & Coach enters public transportation in Latvia: 31 Futura and 21 MidEuro for BBus
VDL Bus & Coach will make its debut in the public transport sector in Latvia on 1 August. With 30 Futuras FMD2-129, 1 Futura FMD2-135 and 21 MidEuros in intercity version, Latvian passenger transport company BBus is strengthening its public transport operations in the Riga, Saldus and Kuldiga regions.
The order from BBus is VDL Bus & Coach's fourth order in a row in which Futuras are used in the public transport sector: at the end of last year VDL made its debut in the public and intercity transport in Iceland with 5 Futuras, this month 30 coaches were deployed by Bus Éireann for its commercial intercity transport in Ireland and this year a further 53 double-deck Futuras FDD2-141 will be delivered to the Irish National Transport Authority (NTA), to be used on regional and commuter bus services.
“The cooperation with BBus is very valuable for us," says Marcel Jacobs, Commercial Director VDL Bus & Coach. “It’s clear that we take another important step forward with this partner. We are proud of that. VDL Bus & Coach has been building coaches for many years that are not only suitable for long-distance travel but also for intercity and scheduled services. With the deployment for high-quality public transport in Latvia, we can show how versatile our Futura range is.”
The Futuras are all equipped with camera systems and destination indicators. In addition, the coaches have been optimised to carry a maximum number of passengers. All 31 Futuras are wheelchair accessible for passengers with mobility impairments. This also applies to the 21 MidEuros, Tour Basic 15+1 coaches based on the Mercedes Sprinter 514CDI. The vehicle length is 8,067 mm.
“With the deployment of this new VDL fleet, we are assured of modern coaches that will take quality to a new level in the Latvian market," says Vitalijs Komars, CEO of BBus. “In this way we can improve our service to our passengers and ensure an optimal travel experience. We know that VDL Bus & Coach is one of the largest bus manufacturers in Europe and that they produce great coaches. But they also have an eye for sustainability, which was an important consideration for us to choose VDL.”
The Latvian company B-Bus was formed in 1998 and has more than 20 years of experience in passenger transport in Latvia and Lithuania. Today the company provides public transport services using 550 buses on 200 routes and employing 1,000 workers. Each year their company buses drive 25 million kilometres and transport 30 million passengers.
VDL Bus & Coach has been successful with the Futura in public transportation for several years. Hundreds of Futuras are in used for this every day. For example, the Futura FHD2 and FMD2 are used in various operations in Ireland, France and Scandinavia and the double-decker Futura FDD2 is used in the Netherlands, Italy, France and Germany. In this way, passengers are comfortably brought to their destination throughout Europe by means of high-quality public transport by coach.
The international intercity segment has grown considerably in recent years. Due to the liberalisation of this market, various private parties now offer regulated international lines throughout Europe. Parallel to these developments, priorities have shifted to CO2 reduction and passenger comfort. As a result, the coach has become a serious alternative to other forms of public transportation in certain countries.
Flexible over the entire range
Different application areas require different customised solutions. If the demand is for high passenger volumes in cities and conglomerations where stop-&-go is relevant, the 13-metre double-decker – which is also available with a fully automatic transmission – offers the best of both worlds: maximum passenger capacity combined with maximum manoeuvrability. If the route is mainly long distances on the motorway, the unique VDL Futura FMD2-135 is an ideal solution. This 2-axle model has a maximum capacity of 61 seated passengers. This model is especially suitable for use in regulated transport where wheelchair accessibility is often mandatory. The wheelchair lift can be integrated into the centre entrance, making the investment even more attractive.
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