"Pleasant, quiet and nice" – People of Heidelberg are delighted with new eCitaro bus route

First all-electric bus route in all-day passenger transport takes passengers from the main station to the old town quickly and in comfort.

Yesterday was the day. The first all-electric bus route in all-day passenger transport came online in Heidelberg. From now on, three whisper-quiet all-electric eCitaro buses serve on route 20 at 20-minute intervals on weekdays between 9 am and 8 pm, and at 30-minute intervals on Sundays. They travel between the main station and Karlsplatz Square and thus contribute to locally emission-free driving in Heidelberg. The first passengers on route 20 were accordingly pleasantly surprised when a new eCitaro showed up: "I thought that it might be a tourist bus at first. But when I saw all those people and photographers on the bus, I quickly realized that this had to be a very special tour," says Rony Guzman, for example.

Once seated on the bus, the passengers were impressed by the ride quality of the eCitaro, which has to cover a daily distance of about 200 kilometers on the new all-electric bus route 20: "The ride on the eCitaro is much more pleasant, because the bus starts less sharply. I've also seen this problem a lot with older people. But the smooth start of the eCitaro now solves this problem optimally," relate an enthusiastic Ramón Ronellenfitsch and Alina Soumpholphakdy. And Werner Bornemann von Loeben adds: "Riding on the eCitaro is an absolutely great feeling, just quiet, no noise, no jerking.“

The new electric bus route is part of the "Master Plan Sustainable Mobility“ of the cities Heidelberg, Mannheim and Ludwigshafen. Behind this alliance is the conviction that in light of the streams of commuters in the region, the air quality can only be improved if the municipalities act in concert. Route 20 now represents a first step toward eco-friendly local transport. "Electric is definitely positive for the environment. You automatically think, wow, now I no longer pollute the air and people," says passenger Bornemann von Loeben convinced of the innovative local transport solution.

To enable the eCitaro to cover the daily distance of 200 kilometers from now on, it was necessary to set up an optimal local charging infrastructure in Heidelberg. The plans of the operator of the new route, Rhein-Neckar-Verkehr GmbH (rnv), call for quick charging as opportunity charging on the rnv premises in Heidelberg during the breaks in operation. Another eCitaro is then used during these breaks. The charged eCitaro buses transport the people quickly and comfortably from the central railway station via the Stadtwerke, Stadtbücherei and Seegarten bus stops to the Karlsplatz. "I think the size of the bus is practical. Especially in a city like Heidelberg, with lots of traffic and narrow streets, this will be a very good fit," says Rony Guzman taking an optimistic view of the future.

One thing is certain: The eCitaro Route 20 rings in a new era in local public transport, one that can serve as a role model for a number of other cities.

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