September 21, 2016 – London-based transport design consultancy, PriestmanGoode, has designed two new seats designed to tackle overcrowding on trains and trams. In a project funded by UK train authority, the RSSB, the studio has developed two separate seat designs to increase seating capacity by up to 30% per carriage (based on a standard commuter train).
The first design, named Horizon, is claimed to allow 20-30% more seats per carriage (based on a typical commuter train), as well as increased standing space and a fully supported ergonomic position.
Above: An animation of the Horizon seat can be watched HERE
Other features include:
• A staggered seat design, which increases shoulder space between passengers, improving the feeling of personal space
• Individual at seat luggage storage and bag hooks so passengers can keep their personal belongings close at all times, eliminating the need for luggage racks
• Each seat has two foot rests to comfortably accommodate passengers of different heights
• The table supports tablets and mobile devices at a range of angles for optimum viewing
• Individual USB charging bar
The second concept, named Island Bay, is a flexible seating solution that provides regular seats during off-peak hours, and a higher density configuration during peak hours resulting in 15-20% more seats and increased standing capacity.
Above: An animation of the Island Bay seat can be watched HERE
Features of Island Bay include
• A flexible seat – a double seat layout during off-peak hours transforms into a higher density configuration at peak times to increase seating and standing room
• Increased seat width
• Dual-purpose table/window seat
• Additional end of bay seat with padded back rest gives previously standing passengers a more comfortable position
• When in high density mode, footrests accommodate passengers of different heights and provide a fully supported position
• The seating layout provides wider than average aisle access, making it more accessible to wheelchairs, buggies, large luggage and folding bicycles
• The new layout is more family friendly/social and can accommodate wheel chair positions
• Anti-theft/pick pocket shield
• Twin USB port at every Island bay seat
Horizon and Island Bay can be installed on new or existing trains and trams, meaning that they could be just a year away from hitting the market. It is likely that train operators would choose to include a combination of these seats alongside regular seats, to ensure that all passengers are comfortably catered for.
Paul Priestman, chairman of PriestmanGoode explained “We’re currently facing a dilemma. On the one hand, it’s imperative that we encourage mass transit over the use of personal vehicles if we want to live in a more sustainable world. On the other, as more and more people use those services, many passengers face stress and discomfort as they try to get a seat or even just board a train.
“In many countries the existing public transport infrastructure cannot be improved sufficiently quickly to keep pace with these rapidly increasing passenger numbers, and in many cases platforms cannot be extended, nor the size of trains increased, so as designers, we need to innovate to help alleviate the problem and improve passenger experience.”