Responding to customer feedback, Metro Transit is trying something new on some Blue Line trains – plastic seats.
Technicians put plastic seats in the upper seating area of a Blue Line train a few months ago and plan to install them in the same area of several additional trains in the coming months.
The seating is being swapped out to get a better idea of whether customers prefer plastic to the cloth that is now used across the fleet.
“The hope is to generate customer feedback and to test the plastic seats for durability and ease of maintenance to help us make an informed decision on whether to potentially pursue a cloth-free option,” said Ryan McTeague, director of light rail vehicle maintenance.
Customer Relations Manager Pam Steffen said customers frequently suggest plastic seats.
Plastic seats may also be easier to maintain. To sanitize cloth seats, cleaners must remove them, steam them and wait a day for them to dry before reinstalling them.
Crews replaced all the seats on six Green Line vehicles a few months ago. Thousands of seats have been replaced over the past several years.
In addition to the plastic seats, light rail vehicle maintenance is testing a new fabric with a protective coating that is expected to be more durable and do a better job of keeping the foam underneath it dry.
Electro-Mechanical Technician Chris Kostohris recently installed new plastic seats on a light rail vehicle at the Blue Line Operations & Maintenance Facility in Minneapolis.
To comment on the plastic seats or the new fabric seats with protective coating, please contact Customer Relations.
Star Tribune: Metro Transit testing plastic seats on light rail vehicles