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Johannesburg buying 143 Scania buses for new transport system

Now that Johannesburg is making a major investment in the development of an efficient, environmentally sound public bus concept in the run-up to hosting the 2010 World Cup in football, the city has selected Scania to supply all 143 buses in the first phase of its new transport system. Crucial to the South African city choice of Scania was that the company offered a comprehensive package, including vehicles with good operating economy and environmental performance as well as a broad selection of services.

Johannesburg’s investment in efficient public transport will utilise the Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) concept, in which buses with high passenger capacity drive in dedicated lanes on existing streets. This enables them to avoid traffic jams and contributes to faster, more environmentally sound transport service.

“For Scania, this is an important breakthrough in South Africa’s rapidly growing city bus market,” says Christoffer Ljungner, Managing Director of Scania South Africa. In Johannesburg alone, about 1,000 new buses will go into service in the public transport fleet over the next four years, and the trend is similar in the country’s other major cities.

Scania has offered Johannesburg a service and maintenance agreement and will also provide both driver and service technician training to the bus company’s employees.

The 143 buses, including 41 articulated buses and 102 conventional models, will be made at Scania’s production plant in Brazil and bodyworked by the Brazilian company Marcopolo. They are part of the initial phase of the BRT system, which will start up during the first half of 2009. The buses will be delivered this year.

The new BRT system which is called Rea Vaya Bus Rapid Transit is the single largest initiative in Johannesburg’s efforts to solve its growing transport and environmental problems. The City is counting on a significant increase in public transport use, while car traffic in central Johannesburg is expected to decrease by at least 15 percent. The overall impact of these changes on the urban environment will be very positive.

The city has set high standards for the environmental performance of the bus engines. In collaboration with the Clinton Climate Initiative (CCI), Johannesburg concluded that these engines must meet the European Union’s Euro 4 environmental standard. This is one level higher than the South African national standard − Euro 3 − and implies a 60 percent reduction in particulate emissions and a 30 percent reduction in nitrogen oxide emissions compared to Euro 3.

CCI, which was launched in 2006 by the U.S.-based Clinton Foundation, is an initiative aimed at stimulating the business-like use of cleaner technological solutions to reduce climate change in major cities around the world.

The articulated buses, which are 18 metres long and have room for 112 passengers, will be equipped with Scania 9-litre, 310 hp Euro 4 engines. The other buses are 12 metres long and accommodate 81 passengers. They will be equipped with Scania 9-litre, 270 hp Euro 4 engines. All engines will feature exhaust gas recirculation (EGR) technology, which reduces emissions during actual combustion, thereby eliminating the need for aftertreatment equipment.

For further information, please contact: Gunnar Boman, Corporate Relations, tel +46 8 553 89510.