Issues and choices
The city of Berne is the capital of Switzerland. It is located in the centre of the Swiss midland at the river Aare. Berne is a compact city, with an attractive historical city centre which makes part of the UNESCO Cultural Heritage of the World.
The number of inhabitants of the downtown area is presently around 130.000 and within the greater city area live about 300.000 inhabitants. It is an old University city where Einstein was working for most of his life. For more details of Berne see: www.bern.ch
Even though Berne is known for being rather traditional, the local government acts progressively, when it comes to energy and environment. It has set clear goals for a sustainable development. After a number of studies from specialized companies, they have decided among other measures to exchange the old diesel buses by new gas buses, preferentially operated with biomethane in order to achieve maximum CO2-reduction and reduce noise and other emissions.
Three companies (Energie Wasser Berne, BERNMOBIL and arabern) with the city as the only or in the last case as major share holder, formed a consortium and joined their efforts to evaluate, buy and operate gas buses with upgraded biogas produced at the local waste water treatment plant (WWTP).