New Tram Design for Zurich Unveiled

Zurich public transport operator, Verkehrsbetriebe Zürich (VBZ), have unveiled a mock-up of their new FLEXITY tram, made by Bombardier.

The FLEXITY trams are designed to be a cost-effective solution to improve capacity, accessibility, efficiency, and passenger comfort for Zurich commuters.

The FLEXITY tram’s design features include a low-floor to improve entry and exit for passengers; an energy efficient HVAC heat pump making it environmentally friendly; and a automated assistance system for the driver, improving safety for both passengers and pedestrians. There are USB connectors for passengers to be able to recharge their devices; an LED light system that indicates whether the doors are locked or released; and wooden seats.

FLEXITY tram interior
Wooden seats in the FLEXITY tram (Photo: Bombardier)

VBZ Vice Director Christoph Rütimann told the Swiss broadcaster, SRF, “We asked our passengers what they like best. It was clearly the wooden seats.The VBZ are thus doing themselves a favor: In terms of hygiene and cleaning, wooden seats are unbeatable.”

Maybe so, but when SRF asked their audience what they thought of the new tram, 28% said it was “beautiful”, 30% said “It definitely takes some getting used to”, but 32% said “it’s the ugliest thing on rails”!

VBZ have ordered 70 FLEXITY trams to enter service in Zurich in May 2020, with an option on a further 70.

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