Metro bus riders will be sitting on slimmer and more modern looking seats when they get on board King County Metro’s new 40-foot Orion VII Next Generation buses and 60-foot articulated New Flyer DE60LFR buses, according to photos on Flickr by punkrawker4783. The 4One Aries seats are the same type as those used on Community Transit’s local buses and in Vancouver TransLink’s buses. I don’t have any word yet on when these buses will be in service but it should be very soon.
The new seats are a radical shift for Metro, which traditionally used fully upholstered seats and over the past decade, seats with a higher back rest than typical urban buses. The slimmer profile seats create more leg room and make the bus interior feel roomier. The stainless steel construction and padded inserts should make maintenance easier. And the design of the seat along with Metro’s new grippier vinyl pads should make the seat reasonably comfortable.
The seats used on most Metro buses are too bulky. The black plastic seat backs “box” people in, look really ugly when vandalized, therefore cheapening the look. The smooth vinyl covering and angle of the seat bottom make slipping off the seat all too common, though this has been partially solved with the more recent seats. And some people may find them cramped. A lot of people are going to miss the deep soft cushions and head rests.
You can view photos of the new buses and seats on punkrawker4783’s Flickr page.