The Kansas City Area Transportation Authority is gradually changing out cloth seats on its buses in favor of a vinyl covering that will be more comfortable and easier to clean.
This May, the KCATA put into service 10 new buses with the cushier vinyl covering and expects to put 10 more on the road in August.
The KCATA’s Hope Bus, which was rolled out last fall, has seats upholstered with pink vinyl.
The new 4700-series buses with the vinyl seats are 40-foot long and serve routes in Kansas City. They are powered by compressed natural gas.
Seats in the KCATA's 'Hope' bus, rolled out last
year, were upholstered in vinyl.
The KCATA decided to move to the new covering because vinyl would be more durable, easier to clean and would be much comfortable for riders over the long term.
“Vinyl has a lot more advantages over the cloth,” said Mark Stambaugh, the KCATA’s fleet maintenance manager. “From a customer standpoint, this is huge.”
The vinyl seats, Stambaugh said, will be more comfortable for a long period of time because the padding underneath won’t be exposed and break down as fast as the cloth seat.
Every new bus purchased from now on will be equipped with vinyl seats, he said.
As major interior work is done on the existing fleet, the cloth seats will be replaced with vinyl. “It will be an ongoing process,” Stambaugh said.