Metro Transit customers who use routes 6, 12 or 21 may have noticed a couple of seats go missing beginning earlier this month.
Two aisle seats are absent from in front of the rear exit door on two-dozen newly-ordered 40-foot buses, leaving each vehicle with 36 seats. The buses were ordered without the aisle seats in a trial to see if opening more space improves passenger movement when buses on these popular routes fill up.
Although removing seats may seem counterintuitive, the extra room is intended to encourage passengers to move further toward the back of the bus instead of standing near the front. The extra space can also be used by customers riding with larger items.
Clearing space in the front of the bus makes it easier for customers to board, reducing the time spent at stops and keeping buses on schedule. The seats were removed from some buses on routes 6, 12 and 21 because customers each of the routes has frequent on/off boarding activity.
Operator and customer feedback is being collected over the coming months to help decide if more buses should be similarly arranged in the future. Feedback on the trial setup can be sent to Customer Relations by commenting online here or by calling 612-373-3333 on weekdays between 7:30 a.m. and 5:30 p.m.
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