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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

CapaCity: highly manoeuvrable and easy to steer

The outstanding handling of the 19.54 m long CapaCity is one of its major advantages. As it needs only one articulation joint, slow manoeuvring and rever­sing present no problems. In the latter case, the driver is greatly assisted by the "Omnicam" installed above the rear window, whose wide-angle lens shows him the situation to the rear on a monitor in the cockpit. All in all, the CapaCity offers considerable practical advantages over other bus solutions with two articulations or a bus trailer. Its turning circle of only 22.85 metres also corresponds exactly to that of the shorter Citaro articulated combination (18 m). This was made possible thanks to the well-proven modular design of the Citaro series, which was also the basis for the development of the CapaCity. This design is simple in principle: instead of having only a single axle at the rear, the Citaro G was extended by adding the rear-end module of the 15-metre Citaro L solo bus. The additional, fourth axle – an electrohydraulically controlled trailing axle – is the reason for the impressive manoeuvrability of the longest Mercedes bus. At the same time the axle loads are optimally distributed, which ensures even more safety in view of the permissible gross vehicle weight of 32 tonnes, the payload of 13 tonnes and the enormous passenger capacity of 193 (Citaro articulated bus: 150 passengers).

The drivers in Istanbul experience the good driving characteristics of the CapaCity on a daily basis. Even though there are no bends on most of the route, they still need to execute turns at each terminus or cross the city to fleet head­quarters. Efficient braking is also particularly important, as the CapaCity buses have a clear road and cover the distances between bus stops at higher speeds than are otherwise possible in urban transport. Safety reserves and rapid respon­ses are ensured by the electronic braking system EBS, which includes ABS, ASR and disc brakes all-round and is standard equipment for the CapaCity. There are markings on the road surface to ensure that the buses of the Metrobus service are always braked gently and in good time. Counting down from the prescribed cruising speed (70 km/h) these markings show the optimum speed before a precisely defined stopping point is reached.

Distinctive design – environmentally friendly technology

The contrasts in the Istanbul urban public transport system fully reflect the vibrancy of this multicultural city, ranging from often quite dated Dolmuş minibuses and more or less up-to-date regular service buses right up to the innovative BRT system with CapaCity articulated buses. First presented as a prototype in 2005, this large-capacity variant from Mercedes-Benz impresses with its unmistakable design, whose appearance suggests a successful synthesis between a bus and a rail vehicle. This effect has above all been achieved with very deep-drawn window areas and a bus body that appears higher than it is, with elegantly superimposed side panels that conceal the roof-mounted technolo­gy. The result is an imposing vehicle that enjoys great public affection in Istanbul. Another very important factor for the transport operator IETT is the modern, tried-and-tested drive ­technology of the CapaCity, with the environ­mentally friendly OM 457 hLA six-cylinder in-line engine installed in the rear. The 12-litre engines used in Istanbul meet the Euro 4/5 emission standard and are equipped with economical BlueTec diesel technology. Realising a modern urban public transport system with low-emission drive systems on attractive terms – as in the case of the new Metrobus service with its 250 CapaCity buses – meets the need to reduce the density of private traffic in the inner city area. Accordingly the plans by the Istanbul city authorities and IETT are increasingly taking effect, as the large, and growing, number of paying passengers amply demonstrates. Many of these are already leaving their cars at home, and not always for reasons of environmental protection: fuel prices in Turkey are higher than in most western European countries, while a Metrobus ticket costs only 1.30 TL (approx. 85 Cents). Travelling into the city from the outskirts by one of the world’s most up-to-date bus systems is also faster and more comfortable than by car.

Mercedes-Benz CapaCity: BRT System in Istanbul

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