Commercial vehicle supplier MAN Truck & Bus on Thursday showcased Africa’s longest bus, the Lion Explorer, at the Johannesburg Motor Show.
At 27 m, the bi-articulated bus-train comprises a 4x2 prime mover with two trailers, each with one axle, which ensures an even distribution of mass while retaining a four-axle configuration.
The bus will be able to seat 137 passengers and is aimed at high-density, peak period commuter transport.
With most of the components for the body sourced locally and assembled at the company’s Bloemfontein plant, national accounts manager for its bus division Tiago Dias told Engineering News Online that the new product formed a critical component of the job creation drive through the concept of local manufacturing.
Pending legislation, once passed, would enable the bus to operate in the market.
Special exemption to operate the product was obtained from the Mpumalanga Department of Transport, through the National Department of Transport, permitting Buscor to operate one unit to test stability and safety.
The bus-train concept is already in use at certain bus rapid transit systems in Latin America.
“The core objective of high-density passenger transport is moving more people efficiently, safely, affordably and comfortably,” MAN Truck & Bus South Africa deputy CEO Ray Karshagen said.