Verdant fields, idyllic lakes, green forests, snowy areas and an indescribable mountain panorama – This is what the Dolomites have to offer and is why they draw vast numbers of nature lovers and sport fans to South Tyrol every year. The ‘Prato Piazza’ high plateau is a popular destination. In summer, the beautiful natural scenery at an altitude of 2000 m is an inviting destination with its numerous hiking tracks or thrilling mountain bike descents. In winter, these same descents attract enthusiastic sledders and the Prato Piazza becomes a starting point and meeting location for cross-country skiers, snowshoe hikers or ski-tourers. The Prato Piazza has been a UNESCO world natural heritage site since 2009.
The high plateau is only accessible via a narrow, six kilometer long mountain road: the “Brückele”. The road is narrow, very steep, visibility is limited and the road is not salted in winter. Yet this is no problem at all for Steiner Touring’s 13 drivers. They are at home on the Brückele’s winding route and adeptly drive tourists and locals to the Prato Piazza in three Mercedes-Benz Sprinter every half an hour. “We have been operating the shuttle and taxi service to the Prato Piazza for years and transport approximately 100,000 people every year. We are not only exceptionally familiar with the narrow mountain road but, thanks to the CO2-efficient engines and exhaust gas technology of the Mercedes-Benz Sprinter, we can also offer a regular line service to the UNESCO world natural heritage site in summer and winter”, explains the Managing Director, Mirko Steiner.
Steiner Touring’s shuttle service is exceptionally popular. In the summer season (June to October), access to the Prato Piazza is restricted to a maximum of 100 vehicles per day due to the strict nature and environmental-protection regulations. In winter (December to April), private vehicles are completely prohibited. “Our Sprinter vans prove their value above all during the snowy winter months. The nine-seater Sprinter 4×4 easily handles the snow with spikes and its all-wheel drive. Our two Sprinter Travel 55’s and 65’s are also ideal for transporting passengers through snow and ice when equipped with snow chains”, explains Mirko Steiner. “We intentionally chose the Mercedes-Benz brand. When looking for vehicles with space for approximately 20 passengers there is no competing product which lives up to our requirements for comfort, quality, safety and aesthetics. In addition, our company also has relied on Setra touring buses since it was founded. So naturally, we also remain loyal to the Daimler Group in the minibus and van sector.”
Mirko Steiner is the third generation to manage the Steiner Touring bus company. He places great value in maintaining the family-owned company established by his grandfather while also entering into new areas of business. That is why Steiner Touring now also offers bicycle transport and organized mountain bike tours with special bicycle carriers in addition to bus tours, shuttle services, taxi and line services. “In addition to the business aspect, there are also the wonderful stories which you experience on the journeys to the high plateau. For example, a cow recently wanted to get into the Sprinter and it took all of our combined strength to prevent a cow from actually succeeding.”