There were omnibuses in Berlin as early as 1847. However, in those days they were drawn by horses. A lot has happened since then. After 1905 the horse-drawn omnibuses were slowly replaced by motor-driven buses and in 1929 the first buses drove through the city with the BVG name. As a sort of birthday present (90 years of BVG), the BVG will now receive a complete new fleet of double deckers. For the first time in eight years the Berlin transport service (BVG) will acquire new double decker buses. BVG, the largest local transportation company in Germany, has commissioned Alexander Dennis Germany GmbH, a wholly‑owned subsidiary of Alexander Dennis Limited with headquarters in Falkirk, Scotland, and advised in procurement law by Leinemann Partner, to deliver the new buses. According to the current planning, the general contract concluded with the BVG initially foresees an order for 200 triple-axle double deckers with modern Euro 6 drive technology. In total, the general contract includes up to 430 double deckers. The first pre‑series vehicles should be on the road in Berlin by mid-2020.
After successful tests and a trial operation with two buses, the supervisory board of the BVG last year decided to give initial approval for 70 vehicles. Further double deckers will follow should the vehicles prove themselves in service. According to the BVG, the investment volume released by the supervisory board amounts to 220 million euros. At the same time, the BVG can remain flexible with regard to market developments for electric buses. Depending on the speed of this market development, the number of vehicles with conventional drive systems which BVG calls up from the general contract will go down proportionately as the development of electric buses to series for double deckers accelerates.
The award of the contract to Alexander Dennis was made, however, in a way which was very different to the way suggested by the "Is mir egal" (I don't care) advertising slogan. This is because the BVG did care and still cares who won the contract. As the contracting authority, the BVG is bound to strict regulations enshrined in procurement law. The bidders also have to comply with these competition rules.
The Leinemann Partner law firm with its long-standing expertise in German and international plant construction was the obvious choice as a partner. In the course of the prequalification, legal advice was given on contractual and procurement law questions and the negotiation procedure also included consulting services with regard to strategic elements. In this process, the consulting took place largely in English. The Leinemann lawyers have worked closely together with Alexander Dennis Limited and their relatively new German subsidiary since 2017. The awarded BVG contract is the most important contract for the recently founded subsidiary company Alexander Dennis Germany GmbH.