Daimler Buses has secured for itself the biggest order in South America this year. As a result, the world’s largest bus manufacturer delivers 1,045 Mercedes-Benz city bus chassis to Santiago de Chile since October. The vehicles are destined for the Transsantiago public transport system, which was introduced in 2007. Since then the system has been providing Chile’s capital city and the surrounding area with a bus and subway infrastructure. Around 3,800 of the approximately 6,400 buses used in Santiago are from Mercedes-Benz, representing a share of almost 60 percent. A total of 5.4 million people live in Santiago’s urban center, and the entire metropolitan area is home to more than eight million inhabitants.
“We’re delighted about every contract we get and are of course especially proud when we receive an order for more than 1,000 units,” says Hartmut Schick, Head of Daimler Buses. “It once again demonstrates that customers all over the world deliberately decide to purchase our products because of their high quality and reliability.”
The Transsantiago network of bus and subway lines is operated by eleven private companies, six of which are ordering the new buses to modernize their fleets. A total of 653 Mercedes-Benz O 500 U low-floor buses were ordered by the following five customers: Buses Gran Santiago, Buses Metropolitana, Las Araucarias, Nuevo Milenio, and STP. The remaining 392 vehicles will be delivered to Buses Vule. This large order is the first one whereas all of the vehicles will be equipped with particulate filters, therefore matching the Euro 3 standard. Having these filters build in there is a lot smaller overall particulate emission. The 1,045 chassis will be produced at the Daimler Buses plant in Sà£o Bernardo do Campo, Brazil, while the bodies will be manufactured in Botucatu, Sao Paulo State, by the large auto body builder, Caio. The entire order is being financed by Brazil’s development bank BNDES (Banco Nacional de Desenvolvimento Economico e Social).
“The fact that we received South America’s biggest bus order this year shows how dedicated the colleagues at Daimler Buses are to serving our customers and winning them over to our products. It’s something we’re all very proud of,” says Joachim Maier, Head of Mercedes-Benz do Brasil, who is responsible for the bus business in Latin America. “Following the economically challenging first half of the year, this major contract is an important step in our efforts to further expand our position in an increasingly stable Latin American market.”
By means of the new contract, Daimler Buses is supporting the integrated transport system in Santiago through its targeted Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) solutions. Thanks to the high flexibility of buses and the low cost of the associated infrastructure, the bus transport concept offers many advantages. In addition to being cost-efficient, BRT public transport systems can be quickly implemented and offer high-level performance. This results in especially big benefits for large, congested cities, which require huge passenger transport capacities. In Chile’s capital, for example, passengers use the transport system doing more than four million rides every day, paying the equivalent of 20 euro cents for a ticket. The Transsantiago transport network has a total of 326 bus lines covering more than 10,000 kilometers, of which 60 kilometers are reserved exclusively for bus use.