The German capital of Berlin’s transport operator Berliner Verkehrsbetriebe (BVG) has awarded a €300m ($431m) contract to Bombardier for 99 Flexity trams.

The new vehicles will replace the currently used Tatra vehicles and will run mainly on lines M4, M8 and 50.

The 100% barrier-free trams feature low electricity consumption and feed back electricity into the braking system. The vehicles have step-less entrances, better passenger capacity and are expected to reduce operating costs for BVG.

The first vehicle will be delivered in May 2011 with the remainder of the fleet expected to be delivered by 2017.

The contract also has an option for 33 more vehicles. If ordered, the total fleet will completely replace all the existing 237 Tatra vehicles in the city.

According to the company one new tram can replace two Tatra vehicles.