By: Fabian Cotter, Photography by: courtesy Daimler Europe

MASSIVE Italian public transport operator Atac is to take delivery of 100 Mercedes-Benz hybrid Citaro buses in three instalments later this year, MB has announced.

The new vehicles are painted Amaranth Red and have a band that runs around the upper section of the bus that reads: "+ Bus x Rom + Bus x Rom" – which stands for "more buses for Rome".

The order – including a 10-year service contract that sees Daimler Buses take care of maintenance in the customer's workshop – will be rolled out between June and the European autumn, 2021.

Atac is one of Europe's largest municipal transport companies based in Rome, Italy. Atac (Azienda per i Trasporti Autoferrotranviari del comune di Roma) is Italy's number one municipal transport company and one of the largest companies of its kind in Europe, it states.

Its hybrid bus delivery is part of an ambitious investment programme to modernise Atac’s bus fleet in Italy's capital. As one of the company's goals is to significantly reduce pollutant emissions, the Citaro hybrid reduces fuel consumption and emissions considerably, MB explains.

Daimler’s EvoBus Italia CEO and president Heinz Friedrich said: "We are delighted with this large-scale order from Rome, the Italian capital. We are supplying Atac with a city bus equipped with the most efficient and sustainable technology in the segment."

The current large order signals the return of EvoBus Italia to the capital; the company had previously supplied buses to Atac – 450 Citaros between 2001 and 2005, MB confirms.

The new vehicles are painted Amaranth Red and have a band that runs around the upper section of the bus that reads: "+ Bus x Rom + Bus x Rom" – which stands for "more buses for Rome".


The single-deck city buses for Atac are equipped with two passenger doors and are fully air-conditioned, MB says. A protective glass driver's cab door prevents close contact between the passengers and driver, which protects the driver from infections, it adds. Both the air conditioning system and the air conditioner housing are fitted with anti-viral active filters.

A CCTV system provides for safety on board and a counting system records the number of passengers, MB confirms.

The vehicles are also equipped with GPS surveillance and a telematics system assists fleet management.



When compared with conventional city buses with a combustion engine, the Citaro hybrid buses reduce fuel consumption and, in turn, emissions by up to 8.5 per cent, MB claims.

A highly efficient and compact hybrid module assists the efficient, low-emissions diesel engine. An electric motor converts energy into electricity when the vehicle is coasting or braking. It is stored in high-performance capacitors, so-called ‘supercaps’. The electric motor assists the combustion engine when the bus pulls away, MB explains.

The Citaro hybrid is also equipped with intelligent eco steering, an electrohydraulic steering system. It operates in a need-optimised way and likewise helps reduce fuel consumption in local city transport, according to Mercedes-Benz.



Atac plans to modernise 10 per cent of its city bus fleet annually, the company explains. Thus the emissions from the 100 Citaro hybrid buses are lower than those permitted by the current strict Euro 6 emissions standard.

The new hybrid buses are to replace Euro 3 vehicles, which have been in operation for more than 10 years.

In addition to environmental conservation, Atac focuses on the safety and efficiency of its city buses, it says. This is shown not just in the decision to buy the Citaro hybrid buses, but also in a full-service contract for a 10-year period, it adds.

As part of the contract Daimler Buses will be responsible for maintenance work on the buses, providing its own personnel in Atac's depot.

Servicing will be guaranteed by Omniplus with its Busworld Home in Monterotondo, only a few kilometres north of Rome.



In addition to the extensive bus network in Rome, Atac operates trams, three underground train lines, and train routes in the suburbs, it states.

Vehicles depart from 320 final bus stops and stations and cover around 8500 stops, it confirms.

The company also operates car parks with space for around 70,000 vehicles, it explains.

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