Stuttgart/Montréal – The Saudi bus operator SAPTCO (Saudi Public Transport Company), in a joint venture with French transport operator RATP Dev (Régie Autonome des Transports Parisiens), has ordered 600 Mercedes-Benz Citaro buses. This is the largest single order of Mercedes-Benz Citaro urban buses in the history of Daimler Buses. On 16 May 2017, the contract was signed at the Global Public Transport Summit (UITP) in Montréal. As soon as 2018 the first 200 or so Mercedes-Benz Citaro G and Mercedes-Benz Citaro Solo buses will be handed over the customer. The remaining 400 units will be delivered by the start of 2020. The vehicles are to be used in the Saudi capital of Riyadh and will mostly be driving on newly completed BRT routes (Bus Rapid Transit) there. This major contract was concluded with the help of the Daimler Commercial Vehicle Regional Centre for the Middle East and North Africa located in Dubai.
"Together with our long-standing partner SAPTCO, we are very much looking forward to being able to shape local public transport in Riyadh to a high quality with our buses," says Hartmut Schick, Head of Daimler Buses. "We are honoured by the trust of the Saudi bus operator and it once again shows that we are also continuing to profitably grow beyond our core markets."
The Parisian transport operator RATP Dev will in future be responsible for operational management and the Saudi partner for fleet management. This major contract is an important milestone in the partnership between Daimler Buses and the two bus operators SAPTCO and RATP Dev. SAPTCO has already been a customer for coaches for many years and, in 2016, acquired more than 200 Mercedes-Benz Travego 15 SHD coaches. The order of 600 Mercedes-Benz Citaro buses is the first major contract in the urban bus segment.