Meantime while Transit Systems announces its retention of Adelaide  bus and public transport routes, Mercedes-Benz has announced its Sprinter mini buses are now operational in South Australia, with residents in Mount Barker and the Barossa,the first to access an on demand bus service aimed at getting more people to use public transport.

Mercedes Vans says the bus program ‘harmonises an on demand ride service app and public transit’.

The company says  that passengers can use smartphones  to book a ride on a bus to a nearby pick- up location before beingdropped off at their destination.

“The service will efficiently transport multiple people in a single vehicle free from the limitations of fixed routes, while simultaneously  relieving traffic strain on public roads,” the company said.

Operated by Keolis Downer and launched earlier this year, the service is a six- month trial supported by the South AustralianGovernment’s Future Mobility Lab Fund and will provide eight Mercedes-Benz Sprinter buses across both locations. Designedby Via, the Keoride app will match customers who are travelling in the same direction and calculates an optimised flexibleroute to pick up and drop off customers close to their destination, you can even track the vehicle and get updated on yourETA in real time.

“The Keoride on-demand ride-sharing service offers a way of making public transport needs-based, efficient and sustainable  –especially when it involves the use of spacious, safe and comfortable Sprinter vans,” says Diane Tarr, managing director of Mercedes-Benz Vans Australia and New Zealand. “It’s the perfect collaboration. Via is one of the most successful providers in the growing ride-sharing sector, Keolis Downer is Australia’s largest private provider of multi modal public transport, and we havethe perfect vehicles for the job. Through our involvement in this new mobility service, we are taking a logical step in the context of bringing our global mobility strategy to life locally.”

The cooperation is a local milestone, which brings to life the global adVANce strategy of Mercedes-Benz Vans focusing on thetransformation  from a vehicle manufacturer  to a provider of holistic van system solutions. The Keoride buses are based on theSprinter 416 long wheel base van. Fitted with optional bus pack, they contain rear air conditioning, electric side entrancestep, rear interior trimming and rear side windows. Upon delivey from Mercedes-Benz Vans Centre Nothside, local conversionexperts VQuip then add seating and other key bus requirements. This adaptability demonstrates  how the Sprinter is theperfect vehicle for a wide range of transport needs and sectors. The bandwidth ranges from a parcel delivery vehicle to a fullyequipped minibus.

Passenger safety was a major consideration for Keolis Downer when selecting a vehicle provider. With safety features thatwere previously the preserve of passenger cars, the Sprinter was an ideal choice. Standard safety equipment includes ActiveBrake Assist, Blind Spot Assist, reversing camera, Lane

Keeping Assist, ATTENTION ASSIST and front and window airbags for driver and co-driver.