Transit Trending Toward Maintenance-Free Seating Options

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

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4ONE teamed up with Q’Straint to create the Q’POD. The newest version of the product is made with a double-aisle facing seat and double forward-facing flip seat.
4ONE teamed up with Q’Straint to create the Q’POD. The newest version of the product is made with a double-aisle facing seat and double forward-facing flip seat.
Flip seats

Both American Seating and 4ONE, a joint venture between Freedman Seating and USSC Group Inc., have each recently released seating models that flip up to create more space.

“There is a trend in the marketplace to further accommodate and make the vehicle accessible for the widest variety of people,” says Cohen. “One of the challenges for operations is what to do with such things as walkers, strollers and grocery carts, so they don’t have to keep them in the aisle or take up the wheelchair position.”

4ONE’s Split Flip is available on its two popular models — the stainless steel Aries and the Gemini, which is an all-injection molded plastic seat. The seating option, which is available in different configurations, simply allows the passenger to flip up the seat cushion when the seat is not in use, creating storage space.

“The Split Flip not only helps the passenger using a cart or stroller board to feel more comfortable, it also reduces boarding dwell time,” says Melleady. “When you’re talking about service in cities like Boston, Washington, D.C. or New York, a minute here or there, can cost the agency and its riders a lot of time and money.”

Meanwhile, American Seating’s individual flip-up seat model can be applied to both its Insight and Vision seats.

“Adding this option keeps the whole environment clean in the bus by keeping things out of the aisle and eliminating tripping hazards,” explains Wolf. “It also allows customers to keep their things close to them so they don’t have to worry about losing them or other passengers tampering with them.”

The flip-up seats made their debut on Calif.-based Long Beach Transit’s buses.

“The agency had a huge part in developing the flip-up, because they really had a need,” Wolf explains. “Some agencies were actually taking seats out of the buses so passengers could have a place to stow their strollers and carts, which meant there were two to four less seats on their buses.”

Wolf adds that the new option surged in popularity quickly both in the U.S. and Canada.

“Sometimes, we see trends that start on either the east or west coast, but it’s been surprising really how this need came up everywhere at the same time,” she says.

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