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Coburg’s city bus system: Introduction of the e-mobility concept

Solaris Urbino 12 in Coburg | © Budach

The city of Coburg is located on the northern edge of the state of Bavaria, in the region of Oberfranken (Upper Frankonia) and is known throughout the region for its historic buildings and the Veste Coburg castle on a hill above the town.

The city’s own SÜC Bus und Aquaria GmbH offers bus services to the 40,000 inhabitants on 9 main lines, which cover the city area very well and usually offer a half- hourly service during the day. In the city centre, in the midst of the historic buildings on Theaterplatz, the central transfer point for the lines has been located since 2007, after the traditional central stop on Marktplatz could no longer be served after its conversion into a pedestrian zone in 2004. With very short distances between the individual lines and joint departures of several lines at minutes 10, 25, 40 and 55, an attractive central transfer station has been created here.

MAN Lion’s City no. 142, new in 2013 | © Budach
Preference for public transport in the central area | © Budach

SÜC Coburg is following the current trend towards electric mobility and has put the first three electric buses into service in 2022. These are three Solaris Urbino 12 electric, which are used on various routes during the day and are proving themselves well. As a rule, they return to their depot in the morning for recharging and resume service after 2-2.5 hours. The central location of the depot on the edge of the city centre allows this to happen quite easily. The purchase of additional e-buses is considered as soon as the necessary additional funding can be secured.

In addition, the fleet currently consists of 40 further solo buses, which are divided between different models and manufacturers:

126-127 Mercedes-Benz O 530 Citaro CNG (2006)

128-134 MAN NL 280/NL 283 (2009-2011)

135-140 Mercedes-Benz O 530 II / Citaro 2 (2011/12)

141-145 MAN NL 323/ NL 283 (2013/14)

146-151 Mercedes-Benz Citaro 2 (2015/16)

152-162 Solaris Urbino 12 (2018-2021)

163-165 Solaris Urbino 12 electric (2022)

Solaris Urbino 12 electric at the depot | © UTM

There has been regular city bus service in Coburg since 1939, which was interrupted by the war and did not pick up speed again until 1948. After the end of the war, there were even concrete plans to build up a trolleybus system, but this failed mainly due to the lack of available vehicles and material to build up the infrastructure. The network was gradually expanded to its current length of 100 km.

Approximately 4.5 million passengers currently use Coburg’s city bus service. The so-called digital ticket has recently become particularly attractive, as it allows passengers to pay electronically and use the service several times at a time and only be charged the lowest fare over time. The IT solution behind the service comes from FAIRTIQ. This makes it even easier for occasional passengers to find their way around the different fares on offer.