The first two Enviro500 buses have been unveiled by Berliner Verkehrsbetriebe (BVG), ahead of a new fleet of double-deckers for the transport operator of Berlin, Germany.

It follows the win of a contract in October 2018 for up to 200 vehicles, subject to the success of two-pre-series vehicles.

Berlin’s new generation of iconic yellow double deck buses is the first to have been designed in Britain by ADL, the world’s leading supplier of double deck buses.

Using its global expertise, the manufacturer has tailored the Alexander Dennis Enviro500 to the requirements of bus services in the German capital while maintaining its proven benefits, including a lightweight aluminium body construction that improves fuel economy without compromising on longevity. 

The first two Alexander Dennis double deckers for BVG are part of a framework contract for up to 430 Enviro500, signed in October 2018.

In addition to the two buses now delivered, an order will be placed for 198 units following the successful completion of a testing programme with the initial pair of vehicles.

BVG Chief Executive Officer Eva Kreienkamp said: “Big yellow buses are as much a part of Berlin as the television tower and Brandenburg Gate. I am delighted that we are now able to continue this tradition, while observing market developments for electric buses.”

Berlin’s Enviro500 are 13.8 metres long and 4.06 metres tall. With three doors and two staircases, they facilitate rapid boarding and alighting on busy urban services. 

Passengers will benefit from USB chargers at each of the 80 fixed seats, while the maximum capacity of 112 passengers allows for additional standees, buggies and two wheelchair users.

A live indication of upper deck seat availability is provided at the bottom of the stairs and large screens throughout the vehicle show next stops, connections and other relevant information. Stop request buttons that provide acoustic feedback and tactile handrails at all doors benefit the travel experience of visually impaired customers.

The novel interior lighting changes colour tone according to exterior air temperature, assisting passengers’ subjective thermal comfort in addition to full air-conditioning and auxiliary heating.

Paul Davies, ADL President & Managing Director, said: “It is an honour for ADL to have been selected as the supplier of a new generation of double deck buses for Berlin.

“We have drawn on our experience with over 18,000 double deckers deployed around the world – in Canada, the United States, Mexico, United Kingdom, Ireland, Switzerland, Hong Kong, Singapore and New Zealand – to jointly develop a bus that fully responds to BVG’s needs and delivers an outstanding travel experience for bus users in Berlin.”

To support the testing programme and the future serial production vehicles, ADL has recruited local teams and invested in an office, service workshop and parts warehouse in Berlin, which will also function as the regional hub for further European expansion.

It is expected that the first two Alexander Dennis Enviro500 will enter passenger service in mid-November on Berlin’s flagship route 100, which this autumn celebrates its 30th anniversary of linking East and West following the fall of the Berlin Wall.