The minibuses will be used to lorry shift workers, nocturnal revellers and tourists and will replace the existing taxi vans. The decision to buy the minibuses was made by the Berlin Transportation Company (BVG), who appointed Berliner Taxigewerbe to operate the vehicles and routes.
“Our principal role is to provide connections for people using public transport routes, bringing them home at night from underground or suburban rail stations,” Bernd Dorendahl, chairman of the Berlin taxi drivers’ guild said in a release.
The Sprinter City 35 has 12 seats, with an additional ten people able of traveling while standing. The vehicles are equipped with a bay for a wheelchair or pushchair.
The fleet of minibuses is connected through a computerised operations control system, while the ticketing system is fully electronic. A radio system and an alarm button also come with the minibuses.
Sprinter City is powered by four-cylinder diesel engines developing 129 hp, mated to a five-speed automatic transmission. The model is a rear-wheel drive, with optional rear axle air suspension available on demand.
Mercedes also offers a bigger version of the Sprinter City, powered by the same four-cylinder engine, which develops 163 hp.