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.
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.