Sunday, August 29, 2010

SMRT's Mercedes Benz Citaro - SMB136C

Kudos to SMRT bringing in yet another F1RST to the public transportation in Singapore & Southeast Asia! The F1RST 100% Fully Low Floor Euro V Mercedes Benz Citaro (WAB) was handed over to SMRT in a launch event (see coverage by Businfohub and Mini Bus Group) by Mercedes Benz at Ang Mo Kio Depot. Registered as SMB136C, it is curently on revenue service on route 855 (and will be rotated on various feeders/trunk routes) for a 1 year trial which commenced on 16th March 2010.

With a large Gorba EDS gracing the front of the bus, stylish curvings with black accents on the aircon pod, and a cool-looking ad showcasing the features of the Citaro, it makes an impressive statement on the roads of Singapore.

SMB136C on 855 as it arrives at Yishun Int.

The side EDS is located further away from the entrance, which may not allow passengers to take a quick glance easily to confirm they are boarding the correct service.

The rear of the Citaro omits any sign of SMRT's red livery, save for a small SMRT logo and the rego plate. The secondary brake/signal lights are integrated to the top of the bus.

The bus stopping light is a "STOP" (Euro specifications), without the bus stopping light in the middle of the bus that most passengers would be used to when on board most SMRT buses.

Speakers and aircon slits.
The bus is a bit stuffy due to the cool air being pushed out via multiple holes.
The foldable seat accomodates two people when opened, and serves as a slot with a headrest when a PIW is on board.

There are no door closing lights or voice announcements, only an audible buzzer when the doors are in operation.
The exit uses a leaf-type doors system instead of the more common swing-out plug doors, hence the "Keep Clear" signages. The wheelchair ramp is also stowed here.

Mercedes Benz everywhere, including the seats struts.

A gentle reminder reminds passengers not to distract the Bus Captain when he/she is driving the bus.

The combination of red and grey makes this interior a pleasant environment for travelling, at the same time reflecting the corporate colours of SMRT.

Low floor as seen from outside, demonstrated by the ad's yellow line.

The Citaro and a Gemilang-bodied OC500LE with a CapaCity front. The lineage of the Citaro and the OC500LE/CapaCity is demonstrated here.

The driver's window is electrically powered.
Overall, this bus scores a lot of thumbs up and you defintely will want to have a ride on this bus to experience it yourself! The Citaro will solve accessiblity issues that are faced using the current low entry concept in the Scania K230UBs/Mercedes Benz OC500LEs, so do give your support to SMRT to purchase more of such buses for the convenience of all passengers!
Rating : 9.5 out of 10 stars.
What do you think of the Citaro? Log on to and give your feedback to SMRT!

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