Bus

Transit Trending Toward Maintenance-Free Seating Options

Posted on January 14, 2014 by Alex Roman, Managing Editor

Page 1 of 3

In response to the agency’s issues with passengers needing a place to store such items as strollers and carts, American Seating’s flip-up seat made its debut on Calif.-based Long Beach Transit’s buses.
In response to the agency’s issues with passengers needing a place to store such items as strollers and carts, American Seating’s flip-up seat made its debut on Calif.-based Long Beach Transit’s buses.
As transit agencies continue to explore ways to grow ridership and take more people out of their cars, one key aspect to the experience is the comfort of the vehicle and the overall ride. Seating plays a huge role in not only that comfort, but also in the flow of the vehicle and the ability for passengers to load and unload quickly.

METRO Magazine spoke to seating manufacturers to discuss what is new in the marketplace and what trends transit agencies are seeing and trying to respond to.

Development, spotting trends
Seating manufacturers say that market knowledge is a key aspect to their success, but they are always looking for feedback and suggestions from properties whose needs differ from agency to agency and change year to year.

“There is just a wide range of options available, and we are seeing more customization. Transit managers are looking to attract discretionary ridership and are designing bus interiors that provide both increased comfort and functionality,”  says Ray Melleady, managing director, North America, for USSC Group Inc. “In general, customers want more product options, better hip-to-knee room, lighter weight and improved maintainability.”

When developing products or exploring trends, American Seating’s Michelle Wolf, product manager, transportation, says the company will reach out to folks at several levels to get feedback before it is refined and completed.

“When we see trends coming, we will do research and ask transit authorities and bus builders for their thoughts, and once we get a concept, we will bring it back to those same people and make sure we are heading in the right direction,” she says. “Once we get a good concept, we will bring the solution to the market.”

Wolf adds that one trend emerging over the last year or so is a call for more maintenance-free seating.

“Transit agencies want seats to be as easy to clean and maintain as possible, because their budgets are so tight. Some places can’t even pay to do more than hose down the inside of the bus,” she says. “Sometimes that might mean vinyl or completely non-upholstered, if that is an option, on that seat. Anything you can do to take the nooks and crannies out helps too.”

A recent trend in the industry has been a move to non-upholstered seating, including at Oakland, Calif.-based AC Transit, whose new buses include 4ONE’s CitiPro seating solution.
A recent trend in the industry has been a move to non-upholstered seating, including at Oakland, Calif.-based AC Transit, whose new buses include 4ONE’s CitiPro seating solution.
Dan Cohen, VP, sales and marketing, at Freedman Seating/4ONE, says the industry has always wanted more and more fabrics over the years, with fabrics that are antimicrobial, antibacterial and moisture repellant recently surging. However, he agrees with Wolf that the latest trend in transit seating is for products that are non-upholstered.

“Our upholstered products are great, but there seems to be this shift toward customers wanting hard plastic seats, so our CitiPro and Gemini offerings have really been gaining acceptance. Both are available with no upholstery,” he says. “Several larger transit agencies, including AC Transit, the Metropolitan Atlanta Rapid Transit Authority and New York City Transit, are already moving in that direction, so customers can walk into a bus and wipe the seats down with their own wet wipe or whatever.”

View comments or post a comment on this story. (0 Comments)

More News

Santa Monica's Big Blue Bus earns APTA Gold Safety, Security Award

BBB has steadily decreased its preventable accident rate from 2.21 accidents per 100,000 miles in fiscal year 2015 to 1.83 accidents per 100,000 miles in FY 2017.

Forest River returns to BusCon 2018 as Platinum Sponsor

The company will mark its return with a nearly 7,000 square-foot booth, showcasing a range of vehicles suitable for a variety of public and private sector transportation providers.

NYCT orders 108 Xcelsior 60-foot New Flyer buses

The order adds 216 equivalent units to New Flyers firm order backlog.

KCATA lands Small Starts grant for MAX line

The new Prospect MAX will feature interactive kiosks with real-time arrival information, public Wi-Fi, ticket vending machines, level boarding platforms, and reduced travel times.

Wash.'s Community Transit BRT line lands $43.2M grant

The Green Line will connect major employment and residential centers, including Canyon Park, Paine Field, and Mill Creek Town Center.

See More News

Post a Comment

Post Comment

Comments (0)

More From The World's Largest Fleet Publisher

Automotive Fleet

The Car and truck fleet and leasing management magazine

Business Fleet

managing 10-50 company vehicles

Fleet Financials

Executive vehicle management

Government Fleet

managing public sector vehicles & equipment

TruckingInfo.com

THE COMMERCIAL TRUCK INDUSTRY’S MOST IN-DEPTH INFORMATION SOURCE

Work Truck Magazine

The number 1 resource for vocational truck fleets

Schoolbus Fleet

Serving school transportation professionals in the U.S. and Canada

LCT Magazine

Global Resource For Limousine and Bus Transportation

Please sign in or register to .    Close