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Riyadh transport operator orders 600 Mercedes Benz Citaro buses

Daimler Buses celebrates the largest single order for its Mercedes Benz Citaro city buses in the history of the brand after transport summit in Montreal

L-R: Élisabeth Borne, then CEO of RATP; Khalid Alhogail, MD and CEO of SAPTCO; and Hartmut Schick, CEO of Daimler Buses.
L-R: Élisabeth Borne, then CEO of RATP; Khalid Alhogail, MD and CEO of SAPTCO; and Hartmut Schick, CEO of Daimler Buses.
The Mercedes-Benz Citaro G city bus.
The Mercedes-Benz Citaro G city bus.

The Saudi Public Transport Company (SAPTCO) has placed an order for 400 Mercedes Benz Citaro G and 200 Mercedes Benz Citaro Solo buses as part of its joint venture with French transport operator RATP Dev to deliver a Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) system in Riyadh.

The 600 Mercedes Benz Citaro buses will be specially adapted for operation in the hot desert region of Saudi Arabia, with an uprated air conditioning system, circulating air blowers in the doors and double-glazed, darkened side windows.

The vehicles are to be deployed in the Saudi capital from as early as 2018, when the initial batch of around 200 Mercedes Benz Citaro G and Mercedes Benz Citaro Solo buses will be handed over to the SAPTCO and RATP.

The remaining 400 vehicles will then be delivered up to 2020.

For Daimler Buses, the purchase represents the largest single order of Mercedes Benz Citaro city buses in the history of the brand, and will be processed by the Daimler Commercial Vehicle Middle East and North Africa regional headquarters in Dubai.

Hartmut Schick, Head of Daimler Buses, noted: “We are delighted to cooperate with our long-standing partner SAPTCO to provide high-standard services to the local public transport in Riyadh.

“The trust that the Saudi operator has placed in us once again reflects the fact that thanks to our high-quality products, we are also continuing to grow profitable beyond our core markets.”

SAPTCO is a long-standing customer of Daimler Buses in touring coaches, and in 2016 purchased more than 200 Mercedes Benz Travego 15 SHD touring coaches.

However, the order for 600 Mercedes Benz Citaro buses is the first major order in the city bus sector.

The vehicles are fitted with WiFi, a system for automatically counting passengers at the doors, and intelligent vehicle networking that will support the fleet operators with the preparation of timetables and maintenance intervals.

The contract signing took place at the UITP Global Public Transport Summit in Montreal on 16 May, 2017.

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