120 Buses for thriving Tshwane
A new era began for Tshwane when the first 44 of 120 MAN Lion’s City A84 buses were officially handed over to Tshwane Bus Services (TBS) on 27th August 2014.
MAN Truck and Bus South Africa has enjoyed a long and mutually beneficial relationship with the City of Tshwane, and this relationship is set to strengthen after the delivery of 120 MAN Lion’s City A84 new buses to bolster the existing Tshwane Bus Services fleet. This delivery forms part of a turn-around strategy adopted by the city in 2012.
City of Tshwane Executive Mayor, Councillor Kgosientso Ramokgopa received the handover key and accepted the fleet from MAN at the C de Wet Bus Depot in Tshwane. He spoke about the integral role that the buses will play in transporting people to and from centres of economic production saying, "These buses will significantly increase the reliability of mass public transport in the city. We could not have hoped for a better partner than MAN in our efforts to continue offering our people the best service possible. I hope that this rela-tionship continues to grow, because the net beneficiaries will be the City of Tshwane."
In addition to the buses sold, MAN will provide technical support and driver training to TBS employees’ on-site, ensuring maximisation of the buses ca-pabilities and safety features. Technicians and mechanics will also obtain skills development during this process. As part of the deal, ownership of the buses will pass to the City of Tshwane after a period of three years at no extra cost. Until this time, MAN will maintain and service the vehicles as part of the com-prehensive efficiency program to reduce total cost of ownership.
The MAN Lion’s City A84 bus has obtained accolades and international ac-claim for functionality and efficiency, and is produced locally at the MAN Bus & Coach facility in Olifantsfontein. With more than 80% local content, the MAN Lion’s City A84 really is a ‘proudly South African’ bus.
The Olifantsfontein facility is the country’s only 'one-stop bus shop' where operators can deal with one supplier for both bus chassis and body require-ments. At this facility, first-world technologies can be adapted to the specific needs of communities in emerging economies, bringing greater cost efficien-cies and swifter turnaround times for vehicle delivery to the operator. Already, twelve of the 44 buses delivered to TBS will have universal access for differ-ently-abled persons. The balance of the buses purchased will be delivered by December 2014.
According to research undertaken in part by MAN and Technische Universität München (Technical University of Munich), by the year 2050 two thirds of the world's popu¬lation will be living in cities. For metropolitan areas to acquire ‘global city’ status, urban planners need to find solu¬tions for traffic congestion, vehicular air pollution and problems associated with trans¬port.
The MAN Lion’s City A84 effectively provides the optimum platform for 'future-proofing' city bus operations in Tshwane and across South Africa. It's Euro 5, MAN D08 6 cylinder in-line common rail injection; turbo charged inter-cooled engine ensures super-low exhaust emission levels. This 4x2 vehicle has an engine capacity of 6.871 litres and features a ZF 6 speed automatic transmission with an integrated retarder. The engine is positioned at the rear of the bus for a quieter ride.
Advanced safety features include ABS braking, traction control and a door control harness to prevent the doors from being in the ‘open’ position while the bus is in motion. As a low-entry bus with electronically controlled air sus-pension, passenger ergonomics and comfort are key design considerations. The MAN Lion’s City A84 seats 45 whilst the twelve universal access buses will have automated wheelchair ramps positioned at the front door.
• Power rating – 213 kW @ 2 300 r/min
• Torque output - 1 100 Nm @1 200 – 1 650 r/min
• Tare Mass (chassis) – 5 620 kg
• Gross Combination Mass - 18 200 kg
The MAN Lion’s City A84 is also equipped with grab rails mounted on the ceiling, as well as vertical handrails to enable passengers, particularly those who are aged or infirm, to board and alight in safety and comfort.
According to Geoff du Plessis, MAN Truck and Bus (S.A.) Managing Director, "The state-of-the-art city buses delivered today are already playing a pivotal role in the City of Tshwane’s evolution in becoming a world-class city. MAN Truck & Bus (S.A.) is proud to be part of this transformation process by providing vehicles that will be used for safe, efficient and affordable public transport services. We are also pleased to be able to offer the city a truly sus-tainable solution to effective urban transportation by maintaining the vehicles, providing skills development through our MAN technicians and transferring ownership of the vehicles to the City in three years."
With MAN Lion’s City A84 in operation, Tshwane Bus Services expects to im-prove their service delivery and road safety record. The fitting of automated fare collection systems by TBS are in the advanced stages and tracking de-vices will be fitted to protect the buses and improve service efficiency. 11 new routes have been planned by TBS and this modern fleet will soon be on the roads of Tshwane.