Freedman and USSC announce 4ONE joint venture
Freedman Seating, Chicago, IL, the family-owned seating manufacturing company for bus and truck markets, which Hyman Freedman founded over 100 years ago will introduce more new products and options in 2012 than any time in its 119-year history.
For openers, Freedman unveiled its new GO Seat for small and mid-size buses in September at BusCon in Chicago, IL.
The Freedman GO Seat is a modular design that allows preferential customizing. The lock-n-GO cushions allow replacement of the seat and back cushions in a matter of seconds, and the company says most components and accessories install easily after delivery.
“The GO Seat will be available Q1 2012,” says Dan Cohen, Freeman vice president, sales. “This new product meets all applicable federal seat belt standards for two- or three-point seatbelt systems.”
Freedman recently added a new online feature to its web site, Design Your Seat.
“Operators can now view any of Freedman’s 100-plus in-stock fabrics and vinyls on three different seat models without having to imagine how a seating configuration will look in their vehicles,” says Cohen. “All they have to do is click and view.”
Design Your Seat permits customers to experiment with a variety of insert and trim materials as well as cloth and vinyl combinations. Once a combination is chosen, the customer can save and print the design for future reference.
Because more riders and operators have grown more concerned about germs and cleanliness, Freedman is also introducing Sanitized® Anti-Microbial grab rails, which the company says are the first anti-microbial grab rails available to the transit industry. Cohen says with the active ingredients molded into the material Sanitized® grab rails provide protection for the life of the bus.
“The protection will not wear off or diminish over time,” he says. “Freedman will offer Sanitized® grab rails on its 3PT seats, Feather Weight seats, CitiSeats and 4ONE Aries and Gemini seats.”
4ONE and the Gemini
4ONE is the name of the 50-50 joint venture between Freedman Seating and USSC Group, Exton, PA, to produce passenger seats for the heavy-and-medium-duty transit and bus and motorcoach markets. Founded in 1986, USSC Group designs and markets seating for myriad transportation markets and entered the bus seat market only in 2000.
4ONE unveiled its new collaborative product, the Gemini, in October at APTA Expo in New Orleans. According to USSC Group President Rick Klotz, this seat is the lightest transit seat made in North America. Using the latest pressure mapping technology, the company says it was able make the Gemini incredibly comfortable.
Washington, D.C. Metro Area Transit Authority (WMATA) will equip 26 new Orion buses with the Gemini, scheduled for delivery later this year.
Klotz says WMATA is the first transit property to get the Gemini. Each of the new units will also feature two Q’Straint Q’Pod wheel chair restraint systems with VPRO II belts and, as well as the optional Sanitized® grab rails.
Available in aluminum, stainless or painted carbon steel, the complete ADA compliant mounting package includes pedestals and cantilevers, transverse and longitudinal seats or transverse and longitudinal flip-up seats.
The plastic back shell meets head impact criteria (HIC) requirements and is available in a variety of textures. BR