Conecto articulated buses on the streets of Warsaw for the first time: 60 Mercedes-Benz Conecto buses for Poland's capital

It's already a familiar sight on the streets of Istanbul, Bucharest and Szeged, and now it's coming to Warsaw. Since the Mercedes-Benz Conecto first went into production in 2007, it has become a firm favourite among bus operators in eastern Europe and Turkey.

On 19 November this year, the first Conecto articulated buses were delivered to the Warsaw public transport company Miejskie Zakłady Autobusowe Sp. z o.o. (MZA). At a ceremony attended by the deputy mayor of Warsaw, Jacek Wojciechowicz, Roman Biondi, brand spokesperson for Mercedes-Benz Omnibusse EvoBus GmbH, handed over the symbolic key to the bus company. Mercedes-Benz won the major order in a tendering process run by MZA as part of an ongoing plan to upgrade its vehicle fleet. The company currently owns 1300 buses. The order was especially important to Mercedes-Benz because it marks the return of buses bearing the three-pointed star to the streets of Poland's capital following an absence of several decades.

Uncompromisingly modern

The transport operator MZA had a clear set of requirements for the modernisation of its buses. Alongside comfort features such as low floors and accessibility, MZA insisted upon environmentally-friendly drive systems and high safety standards. So it should be no surprise to learn that the engines in all the 60 Conecto articulated buses meet the EEV (Enhanced Environmentally Friendly Vehicles) emissions standard without particulate filters. The floor-lowering technology fitted in all the articulated buses makes this four-door vehicle very passenger-friendly and enables people to board and alight quickly. Entry is greatly assisted by the 'kneeling' device which lowers the bus to kerb level at stops, a feature particularly appreciated by passengers with limited mobility. The passenger compartment is light and welcoming. The first thing to catch the eye upon entering the bus is the striking seating design. The grab handles and grab poles are picked out in a signal yellow, while the red fabric of the seat backs depicts Warsaw's finest attractions. Five 22 inch (56 cm) monitors make up the core of the passenger information system. They display news, advertising and information about what's going on in Warsaw. There are also two 38 inch (96 cm) screens which are used exclusively for showing route information, transfer points and stopping points. Passengers can also use the unlimited onboard wifi free of charge. A high-performance air conditioning system keeps the driver's cab and passenger compartment comfortable at all times.

Safety first

As part of its safety concept, the bus has eight internal and two external cameras. The camera images are displayed on the driver's tablet PC. All data is continuously recorded and during every break or changeover the data material is evaluated and transferred to a server where it is stored. These security features are already fitted as standard on scheduled service buses in many cities. The driver's cabs have also been designed with safety in mind. To protect the driver against potential attacks the cab is completely sealed off from the passenger compartment. A two-section access system at door one enables the driver to reach his workspace through the right-hand side, and passengers to enter left to their seats. A door in the driver's cab which can only be opened from the driver's side means he can enter the passenger compartment at any time.

The Mercedes-Benz Conecto articulated buses in their contrasting signal yellow and traffic red livery are being produced at the Mercedes-Benz bus plant in Hosdere, Turkey and will all have been delivered to the customer by 20 December 2012. The 18-metre low-floor bus can carry up to 160 passengers. The Conecto G meets the demand of public local transport operators for a robust and economical vehicle with low maintenance and repair costs coupled with high levels of reliability and a long useful life.

Credits: Daimler AG

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