Where Do You Stand On Seating?
Changes are being considered for the 151 new LRV4 's that will replace Muni's existing fleet. Options for the changes were developed to address customer feedback requesting additional handholds, seating type and layout, as well as system performance and Operator and Mechanic feedback.
Options for these changes were presented to the SFMTA Board and Citizens’ Advisory Council (CAC) for their feedback. Of course, there are no easy choices, as some changes being considered could impact some popular features of the new trains.
To provide additional handholds archway handles could be added over the aisle that would be accessible to taller customers in the center of the vehicle while hand straps of multiple lengths could be added to provide more handholds for shorter customers.
Seating may also be updated to provide more definition of seats and to increase customer comfort. These changes, however, would reduce overall seating capacity on the vehicles. Another seating change being considered is lowering bench seats two inches, except in areas where train control equipment is stored.
There are several seating layout options being considered to add forward- and rear-facing seats, also called transverse seats, to the new fleet. Each of these options includes trade-offs relating to the total number of seats and variety, aisle width, as well as keeping the delivery of the vehicles on schedule.
One layout option being considered is to convert the area in the trains across from the leaning bar to single transverse seats, reducing total seats on the train by four. Another option is to convert the side-facing, or longitudinal, seats to single transverse seats, which would reduce the total seats on the train by twelve. A third option would be to convert one side of seating to double transverse seats, which would preserve the existing number of seats, but would sacrifice the accelerated schedule and decrease aisle widths.
Customer feedback on the new LRV4 trains was received from 311, Twitter, letters, and through an intercept survey of Muni Metro customers and two focus groups.
Over the next few months, the SFMTA will review all feedback from the board and negotiate change orders with the manufacturer.