The Bombardier Flexity Berlin tram was instrumental in helping authorities in Strausberg, Germany in choosing a new tram for their city. The Strausberg transport authority (Strausberger Eisenbahn GmbH), as part of an assessment process aimed at modernizing its fleet, tested a Flexity tram from the Berlin Transport Authority (BVG) (Berliner Verkersbetriebe) in trial revenue service from October 29 to November 9, 2010.
A passenger survey conducted during the test run indicated 87 percent of passengers were satisfied with the tram. It scored positively on its ease of access, smoother and quieter ride, interior design and climate control.
As a result of this successful trial, the Strausberg authority opted to purchase two Flexity Berlin trams, resulting in both cost savings and improved passenger comfort. Andreas Gagel, managing director, Strausberger Eisenbahn, said: "The trams are good for Berlin and they are certainly good for Strausberg as well."
The vehicles are 30.8 m long, 2.4 m wide, with seating capacity for up to 184 passengers. The Flexity Berlin tram was developed specifically for the German capital by BVG and Bombardier Transportation and received the renowned ÖkoGlobe Award earlier this year, ranking second in the category "Vehicle Innovation in Public Transport". With the internationally recognized environmental award sustainable concepts, products and processes in the mobility sector have been acknowledged since 2007.. The trams can be easily operated on the Strausberg network with only minor adjustments.
To date, BVG has ordered 103 Flexity Berlin trams since signing a frame contract with Bombardier in 2006. The agreement can be expanded to include up to 210 vehicles. Four pilot trams have been operating on BVG's network since October 2008 and have garnered positive survey responses from the travelling public. Passengers' suggestions for further improvement are being incorporated into the series production. The first series production vehicle was presented to the people of Berlin on September 10, 2011, at the city's Alexanderplatz.
More than 1,700 Flexity trams are already in successful revenue service l and Bombardier Transportation has more than 3,500 trams and light rail vehicles operating or on order in cities across Europe, Australia and North America. Bombardier will manufacture the new trams for Strausberg at its plant in Bautzen, Germany, with its Mannheim site providing the electrical equipment and its Siegen site the bogies.