Double-decker shor tage in Berlin but reprieve for tourist route

The number of double-decker buses being operated by the BVG municipal in Berlin has plunged as older vehicles are rapidly withdrawn before new Alexander Dennis Enviro500s arrive.

Only around 54 of the city’s previous signature, tri-axle MAN Lion’s City A39s of the DL class are still operating as 50 new ADLs come on stream. Of these 21 are still being prepared for service at depots. Berlin’s bright yellow double-decker fleet once numbered well over 400 vehicles and Germany’s largest municipal is the only city transit company to operate doubledeckers in significant numbers.

One of the remaining MANs was recently de-roofed in an accident on route 282 in which no one was hurt. It was the first incident of its kind since 2017.

Around 100 DLs were withdrawn in 2020 and again in 2021, with most of them going for scrap. The BVG bought 416 of the class between 2005 and 2010.

The heavy MANs suffer from high fuel consumption and are currently confined to double-deck routes such as the crosscity 101 and the 186 to Grünewald railway station in the west of the city.

Passengers on busy M29 and M49 routes have suffered from overcrowding as solo and articulated buses replace the DLs, leading to widespread complaints.

Want to read more?

This is a premium article and requires an active subscription.

Existing subscriber? Sign in now

No subscription?

Pick one of our introductory offers