Opening a new dimension in city transit seating

By Michaela Oberbauer

To meet the requirements of local transport, quality seating must present all the characteristics for being the next trendsetter model for city transit buses, shuttle buses and street cars. A modern, innovative and first-class seat stands out not only by its functional design and exceptional robustness, but also by its low weight, extreme safety, space-saving shape and its modularity.

Setting new safety standards

The CITOS, by Kiel North America, especially developed to meet today’s stringent transit requirements, impresses by its very high safety: It passes the real 10G dynamic crash test, which is a minimum according to APTA regulations and customer specifications, without breakage. With that, Kiel even expanded the dynamic test requirements, and the CITOS stood them without breakage.

The secret behind the seat’s safety is its very special new concept: high-tech engineering utilizes an innovative mix of topmost quality materials. In detail, this means the seat has a hybrid construction integrating a specially-designed metal combination which absorbs energy and ensures deformation instead of breakage in the event of a crash. The connection from seat back to seat base deforms precisely without effecting dangerous, sharp edges by breaking and splintering.

Innovation creates aisle space

Yes, there is an intelligent way to a more convenient passage through the bus: While its seat base features a comfortable width of 17.7 inches, the seat’s slender, ergonomically designed back is slightly narrower.

In addition, the handles on the backrest even taper gently to the top allowing maximum passenger comfort and extra aisle space on the main height level.

Versatile, light-weight and easy to maintain

A very important feature of any seating solution is low weight. The CITOS is 20 percent lighter than most competitive products. For example, the version without fabric or foam cover only weighs 32.6 pounds per double seat, including aluminum frame and foot-wall connection. It is a true fuel-saving, CO2-emmision conscious lightweight seat.

A further strength is the seat’s modularity in terms of comfort as well as the width. This seat comes in four different comfort levels: with fabric and foam, without fabric and foam, with fabric only, with 0.5-inch foam and with 1.5-inch molded, contoured foam. This high cushion seat is even suitable for suburban transport.

Because it requires only a minimal number of parts, this seat is extremely easy to maintain and clean, yet offers almost unlimited options regarding colors, covers, and accessories such as center closeouts and color options for handle inserts.

A perfect combination

During its 70-year tenure as one of the industry’s trailblazers, Kiel has developed many patents, but few are as exciting and pioneering as the patented Kiel Secubar, a rotating barrier to secure the passengers sitting on forward-facing flip-up seats on the ADA area.

Using the Secubar in combination with the CITOS allows the safe installation of two forward-facing flip-up seats, one on each side of the aisle. Overall, it provides room for four to five seats in each ADA area, whereas most other solutions provide only three to four seats.

This new Kiel system, compliant with the Americans With Disabilities Act (ADA), consists of the Secubar itself, which is easily engaged and secured by flipping down the longitudinal seats and effortlessly operated with a foot pedal; and the tower providing the mounting position of the upper belt for a fully controlled three-point securement system. With the stabilizing bumpers, it creates a safe position for the wheelchair and its occupant on the bus. Using original Q’Straint parts and features, it provides all the original functionality of the Q’POD system designed and tested by Kiel in cooperation with the Q’Straint. Further important features are a mechanical and electrical time reset function and a stop request button.

Another advantage: With the Secubar solution, the bus floor remains easy to clean, as nothing needs to be screwed and bolted there.

Michaela Oberbauer serves as general manager of  Kiel North America. Kiel is a trendsetting seat provider to transit systems around the world including seating solutions for buses and trains on the local, regional and intercity level. 

One Response to “Opening a new dimension in city transit seating”

  1. It makes sense that you want public transportation seating to be lightweight. Hiring a seat installation service to help test those aspects would be a good idea. That way you are sure that it is well weighted and you don’t have to worry about it being too much.