Regional buses , formerly known as intercity buses , are special line bus types for regional bus transport . They are designed for use on longer routes outside cities or connecting cities. Compared to the city buses used in inner-city areas, they usually have a higher proportion of seats, mostly with seats facing the direction of travel and more powerful engines. The development of the last few years has led to an adaptation to city buses in many places. Therefore, in addition to high-floor, predominantly low-floor and low-entry buses are used today . Increasing attention is being paid to larger storage options for luggage (including skis in winter sports areas ) and space for prams and wheelchairs (plus an extendable or fold-out ramp). In addition, there are offers with an additional bicycle trailer in leisure traffic .
The buses used in regional transport can be divided into three groups:
Classic regional bus
There are intercity bus models derived from city bus series, which often differ only slightly from these in more comfortable seating, modified doors (single door at the front of the regional bus) and minor changes in design (examples: Mercedes-Benz Citaro Ü , MAN Lion's City Ü ). In terms of design, a common vehicle base is now used here. Up to the 2nd generation standard intercity bus, the vehicles had different vehicle lengths and floor heights despite their visual similarities to the city bus relationship, so that the intercity buses of that time were independently designed vehicles. Since the mid-1990s, the vehicles that have emerged from the standard intercity buses and are no longer standardized have been offered almost exclusively in low-floor or low-entry versions. Older high-floor vehicles, on the other hand, are still often used in school buses or amplifiers in regional transport ; in regular regular service, they are often no longer allowed to be used due to customer specifications for maximum vehicle age, low-floor design and equipment.
Today, for reasons of simplified production, a common vehicle type is used, which can optionally be provided with double city bus doors for two-lane handling or a single-leaf swing door (single door) in the entrance, whereby vehicles with two-lane handling are increasingly being used on high-demand connections in regional transport, for a long time Avoid stops at stops. All other equipment features such as drive components, interior fittings, etc. are equally available for both urban and intercity versions and can be combined with one another. For the most part, low-floor buses in regional and city traffic also have automatic transmissions today , only axle ratios are usually designed for higher speeds (with 100 km / h approval). Manual transmissions with five or six gears were common in raised-floor vehicles until the 1990s.
Combined buses form the transition between classic regional and long-distance coaches . The term arises from the combined usability in line as well as travel and excursion traffic ( occasional traffic ). In some cases, the combi buses are vehicles that are derived from the touring coach variants of the respective manufacturer or independently developed types. In contrast to city and intercity buses, these vehicles are still predominantly high-floor today (examples: Setra MultiClass, Mercedes-Benz Integro , MAN Lion's Regio ); the high-floor design results from the existing trunk beneath the passenger floor for luggage in occasional traffic. However, this group of vehicles is not barrier-free . More complex solutions such as hydraulic lifts are required for wheelchair transport. The seats opposite the center door are usually only attached with quick-release fasteners and can be removed to create a space for a stroller or wheelchair. Unless entrepreneur combines these vehicles both used in the travel and regular transport, these vehicles also have the characteristics of both types of use: For the regular service vehicles with destination displays are ticket printers and canceling machines , pay table, stop request buttons, passenger information and operational control systems equipped. Furthermore, the vehicle is usually also approved for standing space in regular services, which may not be occupied in occasional and long-distance regular services. A double-width middle door and a stroller space allow you to take these with you, but the bus manufacturers also offer single-width doors and full seating for pure excursions. For longer periods of use in occasional and tourist traffic, more comfortable, adjustable, high-strength seats with correct cushions, curtains, nozzle ventilation and reading lights are chosen; As a rule, the front entry has a tour guide's seat and a cool box, and some vehicles are also equipped with a galley and toilet. Air conditioning systems, on the other hand, are not a unique selling point in travel today, due to customer specifications, buses have also been equipped with them for several years.
The third group are the coaches used on long-distance bus routes and sometimes also on city express bus routes. It is no longer possible to speak of a special type of regional bus here. As a rule, classic coaches are used here, some of which are retrofitted with line destination displays, ticket printers and, if necessary, validators. Another problem due to the underfloor trunk is the lack of accessibility, which can only be achieved in the coach due to the narrow doors by installing a third additional, wide flap door and a hydraulic lift. With these specially converted vehicles, wheelchair passengers can either remain seated in the wheelchair, whereby the wheelchair is fixed with straps on perforated rails in the floor, or the passengers are moved into the vehicle with a lift-like floating seat that can be moved in the center aisle, whereby the wheelchair is then transported in the trunk can be.
Common vehicle models in Germany
- Standard intercity bus of the 1st generation (StÜLB I) built from 1972 to the mid / late 1980s; mostly bought as a train bus , hardly in use today: MAN SÜ 240 , Mercedes-Benz O 307 , Magirus-Deutz L 117
- Standard intercity bus of the 2nd generation (StÜLB II) built from 1987 to 2000): MAN SÜ 242 , Mercedes-Benz O 407 , Neoplan Ü 80 , as well as the "non-standard models" of this time: MAN ÜL 272 / 292, Mercedes-Benz O 408, Auwärter Neoplan Transliner Ü and Regioliner (low floor), Kässbohrer Setra S 215 UL and S 215 NR (low floor)
- Latest generation (built from around 1997/98): MAN Lions's City Ü (low floor), Lion's City TÜ and Lion's Regio, Mercedes-Benz O 530 Ü ( Citaro Ü - low floor), O 345 H ( Conecto H) and O 550 ( Integro ), Neoplan Centroliner Ü and Trendliner, Setra MultiClass S 415 NF / S 416 NF (low-floor) and S 412 UL to S 419 UL. Most vehicles of the current generation are also available in 15 m versions (three-axle, e.g. MAN A26, Setra S 419 UL) and 18 m versions ( articulated bus , e.g. Mercedes-Benz Citaro GÜ).