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English   BRT in Istanbul: Mercedes-Benz CapaCity highly effective and popular as a comfortable rapid transit bus with a high capacity
22.08.2009 von admin

750,000 passengers daily – rising to 1 million after route extension

The high expectations of the planners for this modern BRT system (Bus Rapid Transit) have rapidly proved justified, as around 750,000 passengers use the buses daily on the 40.6 km long route. This has noticeably relieved congestion on the peripheral motorways and feeder roads into Istanbul, for with 12.5 million inhabitants (Istanbul city), the number of commuters is extremely high. The resulting daily commuter traffic leads to long tailbacks, delays and severe atmos­pheric pollution. Travelling by CapaCity is a quite different matter: environ­mentally friendly, comfortable and with no congestion.

High speed and fast turnaround

The smooth operation of the system is considerably assisted by fast turnaround times of up to 30 seconds (!) at peak times, as well as high travelling speeds – around 40 km/h including stops. Nobody needs to wait for long: compared to earlier times with a conventional regular bus service, the daily journey time has been reduced from 1.5 hours to just 40 minutes. This brisk procedure was achieved by specifically designing the route as a separate bus lane without crossing traffic. The six-lane E5 highway leading into Istanbul from the west was designed with a wide central reservation separating the two traffic flows. This provided the ideal facilities for the two parallel bus lanes of the new Metrobus service. The bus stops positioned in the centre can only be accessed via pedestrian walkways, which means that changing to the Metrobus from other regular services or reaching a bus stop from the car parks is completely safe and convenient. While passengers getting out are able to leave the CapaCity quickly via the four double doors, incoming passengers pass through a modern service area with electronic ticketing. The system was already introduced by the transport operator IETT under the name Akbill in 1995, and gained rapid public acceptance. Each stop also has a counter or cash-desk for passengers paying in cash. The tickets and prices are valid for the entire urban public transport system of Istanbul – including the ferries that cross the Bosporus.

Mercedes-Benz CapaCity: BRT System in Istanbul

Comfortable travel at pleasant temperatures

The passengers not only benefit from the well-organised operation of the Metrobus service, but also from the comfort of the CapaCity buses: wide double doors, no-step entry and exiting, platforms for standing passengers with plenty of space for wheelchair users and pushchairs. The friendly atmosphere in the bright, spacious passenger compartment is enhanced even further by the attractive colour scheme of the ceiling, side walls, seating and flooring. The effective climate control of the CapaCity has been particularly well received, as air conditioning is by no means a standard feature in the enormous fleets that operate in the wide transport network of the Turkish metropolis. It is not only the many passengers, but also the CapaCity drivers who enjoy the pleasant interior temperatures. These are all experienced professionals who have already absolved countless bus kilometres in the busy traffic in and around Istanbul. They know what it means to be on the road with a fully occupied regular service bus in the burning heat of mid-summer. Driving a CapaCity is therefore already a very desirable assignment because of the air conditioned cockpit. Moreover, the drivers are already familiar with the user-friendly arrangement of the controls, as the 494 Mercedes-Benz Citaro city buses that ushered in the low-floor era in Istanbul in 2005 also have an instrument panel according to the VDV standard, and substantially the same cockpit functions.

Mercedes-Benz CapaCity: BRT System in Istanbul

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