Answering my own questions since 2001

Public Transport Seat Fabric and the LUAS

LUAS Fabric, Close UpToday Neatorama links to a cool Flickr photo set of seat fabric on public transport. I think this one, from a German bus, is my favourite.

Of course, none of them rival the awesome fugliness that are the seats on the LUAS, Dublin’s newish light rapid transit system. I wrote about riding the LUAS here and here, back in late 2004. The designers of the seating made two curious decisions:

One odd thing about both the Luas and the DART is the fabric they choose for the seats. It’s a kind of plushy, cottony type of thing, where it seems to me that vinyl would be much more appropriate. I mean, this fabric’s just going to soak up all the urine and vomit. If I get a chance, I’ll take a photo of the seats, because the pattern on the fabric is extraordinarily awful.

Maybe they’ve wised up since 2004? I haven’t taken the LUAS in a couple of years.

3 Responses to “Public Transport Seat Fabric and the LUAS”

  1. Ian King

    That is a funky pattern. Fabric seats look silly at first glance, but they’re not — heavy-duty transport fabrics have a base of steel mesh, which makes them vandal-resistant and extremely durable, and the cloth is treated to make it easier to clean. Vinyl is a lot easier to vandalize and it needs to be replaced frequently as wears out every few years. In Vancouver, TransLink found that vinyl’s lifecycle costs were higher than cloth, thus they went with it for SkyTrain Mk II cars, 98 B-Line buses and new trolleys.

  2. Erika

    And then Translink realised that the seats were deceptively hard on the Milennium SkyTrain seats, and eventually made them cushier. Thank god.

    I haven’t been on the new trolleys but I assume they’re the same as the new regular buses? Where they’re streamlined plastic seats or whatever that are surprisingly comfy… I think. I just feel less comfy in such a sparse and grey bus.

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