Bombardier presented the first vehicles from the initial order for 99 vehicles in Berlin on September 10 2011, following the successful introduction of four pre-series Flexitys of varying lengths on the city's tram network in 2009.
The new vehicles are replacing BVG's existing fleet of Tatra KT4 trams which date from 1976, and will include 38 long unidirectional vehicles, 53 short and 47 bidirectional vehicles when the delivery is completed in 2017. BVG worked closely with Bombardier to develop the new LRVs which have step-less entrances, and have been praised by passengers for their generous interior space.
"With this order of 138 vehicles, BVG is responding to a positive increase in passenger numbers and growing its capacity for the future," says Mr Klaus-Dietrich Matschke, BVG's executive director for trams. "Bi-directional vehicles provide the strategic option of removing track loops for turning, which means an improvement to the look and feel of tram stops."