Bombardier Transportation has signed a contract for the delivery of up to 60 Bombardier Flexity trams with the city of Basel's Transport Authority (BVB). It is the biggest order placed by the BVB in its 116-year history. The contract is valued at approximately 222 million Swiss francs (184 million euro, $241 million US). By selecting Bombardier's Flexity trams, the BVB has opted for a proven vehicle platform that has been specifically customised to meet the city's requirements and designed to reflect its cultural diversity.
The contract consists of options for several deliveries: the first delivery comprises the vehicle specifications and two Flexity trams. The first new trams will go into operation in time for the opening of the extension of tram line number eight to Weil am Rhein, in 2013. From 2014, two new Flexity trams will be delivered to Basel every month, subject to confirmation by the legislature of the Swiss canton Basel-Stadt.
Jurg Baumgartner, managing director, BVB said, "I'm convinced the city of Basel has secured the best possible trams for its network. The Flexity tram outperforms all other vehicles by a massive margin. Traditionally, Basel's trams have shaped the city's identity. I believe that this region deserves a tram fleet that reflects our modern urban lifestyle and I am proud to witness this milestone order."
"These new trams are taking Basel into the Champions League of public transport," added Stephane Wettstein, managing director of Bombardier in Switzerland. "We are particularly pleased to be shaping rail-based mobility in Basel together with the BVB for the coming decades."
Basel's trams, known locally as "Drammli," are close to its people's hearts in a city where public transport has a huge significance and a proud tradition. Therefore, it was especially important to fully tailor the new Flexity Basel trams' design to the customer requirements. With a total of 900 employees Bombardier is deeply rooted in Switzerland.
"This high-profile order is a big win for Bombardier's Light Rail Vehicles business unit," said Germar Wacker, president, Light Rail Vehicles, Bombardier Transportation. The Flexity Basel tram represents a strong continuation of the successful Bombardier tram family which is already in operation in cities around Europe including: Augsburg, Berlin, Brussels, Geneva, Innsbruck, Krefeld, Linz and Marseille. The vehicle fulfills the challenging demands of the Basel tram network, is perfectly suited for cross-border operations and will provide passengers with a comfortable travelling environment offering panoramic views of Basel's most beautiful sights."The 2.3 m wide vehicle is available in two lengths: the five-module tram is 31.8 m long and accommodates 183 passengers, the seven-module vehicle is 43.2 m long and comfortably provides space for 254 passengers. A total of 43 long and 17 shorter trams will gradually replace the 101 trams currently in service in Basel.
The comfortable Flexity tram with optimum seating arrangements and a light and friendly interior design is setting new standards in urban mobility. Its combination of 100 per cent low-floor technology and conventional wheel-set bogies is the hallmark of Bombardier low-floor trams, ensuring a perfectly smooth ride and low-noise operation as well as fulfilling all safety standards.