Public transport has always been and remains one of the safest, most efficient and most ecological modes of travel for people in cities. The past months and the coronavirus epidemic in Europe and around the world have given rise to many new challenges, also transport-wise. Solaris has worked out a special set of solutions raising the safety of passengers and drivers in a bus. Importantly, these can be applied both to vehicles already delivered to clients as well as those yet to be commissioned and manufactured.
Solaris has delivered over 19 000 vehicles to customers in 32 countries and 750 cities. To make the travel on those safer and comfortable also during the pandemic, the Solaris Office of Development has drafted up and implemented new solutions whose purpose is to minimise the risk of infection for passengers and drivers.
“At the time when the epidemic peaked in various countries in Europe and worldwide, our customers in all of Europe coped fantastically with the provisional adaptation to the new circumstances. These were provisional measures involving the separation of the driver from passengers, the introduction of capacity limits in public transport vehicles and the disinfection of vehicles before they head out to for a new day on the road. Now we want to offer tried and tested, permanent systemic solutions, based on components of renowned European suppliers,” notes PhD Eng. Dariusz Michalak, deputy CEO of Solaris for Research and Development,
Importantly, these solutions have been devised for both newly manufactured vehicles, as well as those which have been operating in cities for several years.
Starting from the bus entrance, Solaris offers the following solutions:
- Hands-free opening and closing of doors for passengers - this amenity is based on through-beam sensors detecting people who want to either get on or off the bus. Operating from their panel, the drivers permit the opening or closing of the doors which will respond automatically, without the need for passengers to press a stop button.
- Disinfectors - it is possible to attach hand disinfectant dispensers to the rails inside of the bus. After one refill, the disinfector can perform 3000 operations, while being easy to handle and consuming little energy. There can be several such devices installed in one vehicle, depending on the interior layout.
- Intercom - a non-contact passenger-driver communication system - in order to limit direct contact between drivers and passengers to a minimum, buses can be also fitted with a so-called intercom, namely a device for voice communication between passengers and the driver. Thanks to that system, it is possible to comply with social distancing rules even when talking to the driver.
- Passenger counting system - during the epidemic, in many countries the operators were forced to limit the number of passengers allowed to travel at a time on a public transport vehicle. In order to inform both drivers and passengers as to the number of passengers currently onboard of the bus, and how many more passengers may still embark it, the carrier may opt for a passenger counting device. The system is located near the vehicle door and it automatically collects data on the number of travellers, registering each bus entry and exit in the process. Information about the current number passengers may be displayed both on the driver’s panel, as well as the external or internal notice boards.
- Closed driver’s cabins - in consideration of the day-long labour of drivers, Solaris has devised a closed cabin version, in order to set up comfortable and safe work conditions. The cabins provide separate air-conditioning and ventilation systems to drivers; these devices minimise the possibility of circulation of air within the passenger compartment. The driver may have a separate entry / exit at their disposal which allows to minimise direct contact with other travellers.
“All of the solutions proposed by us have been already perfected and tested in real-life urban conditions. Of course, since there are many various models of our vehicles, each and every question of our clients will be analysed individually, in terms of technical possibilities. The Service Customer Account Manager is the source of information about these matters on all the markets to which we deliver products. We are more than happy to provide advice regarding the best solutions for our clients and support to ensure that it become even safer to ride on our buses, both those newly put in use and those already servicing lines,” states Petros Spinaris, the Vice-CEO in charge of Sales, Marketing and Customer Service.
Apart from the above solutions, Solaris has also drafted detailed recommendations for its clients, regarding the use and maintenance of ventilation and air-conditioning in buses. These concern among others the frequency and mode of washing and of disinfecting the air-conditioning or the exchange of filters and their types. Thanks to these instructions, it is possible to improve upon the safety of passengers and to limit the risk of spreading infections in the bus to a minimum.
“The propositions regarding the antiviral measures of Solaris help to minimise the risk of contracting the disease. They make the public transport vehicles safer also throughout the epidemic. One could venture to assert that thanks to the above solutions, the buses are even safer than many other closed public or private venues where none such precautionary measures are implemented. Together with our clients who are managers and operators of public transport, we offer, to the passengers, solutions that guarantee comfort and travel security in cities, even in those exceptional times we have to face. I am greatly impressed by how wonderfully our clients brave the current challenges, and how passengers using public transport do so in a safe and responsible manner,” said Javier Calleja, CEO of Solaris.
You can learn more about antiviral and antibacterial solutions provided by Solaris at: