What might be the pros and cons of installing bench-style seating in buses, like there are in subway systems?

I realise this might not be the appropriate site for this question. If so, please redirect me to the appropriate one.

closed as primarily opinion-based by DJClayworth, RedGrittyBrick, choster, David Richerby, CGCampbell Apr 11 '18 at 19:38

Many good questions generate some degree of opinion based on expert experience, but answers to this question will tend to be almost entirely based on opinions, rather than facts, references, or specific expertise. If this question can be reworded to fit the rules in the help center, please edit the question.

  • Hi Nilabro. This is unfortunately more of a discussion style question, which is not what this site is about. We focus on factual, answerable questions, so this question will probably be closed. Please do feel free to ask other questions, and read the site description if you haven't done so. – DJClayworth Apr 11 '18 at 18:40
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    Some buses do, at least in certain sections of the bus. It provides more room for passengers to stand, for higher capacity, and the seats can be folded up to make room for wheelchairs. However, I'm not really sure there is a StackExchange site suited to discussing this. – Zach Lipton Apr 11 '18 at 18:46
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    In the 1960s and 70s, at least, NYC buses had such seating. When newer buses with rows of forward-facing seats were introduced in the early 1980s, it seemed like a radical change. – phoog Apr 11 '18 at 18:46
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    I'm voting to close this question as off-topic because it's about vehicle design and, while vehicles are obviously used for travel, this question isn't at all focused on the traveller. – David Richerby Apr 11 '18 at 19:22

For very short trips, open layouts are ideal, with very few seats and a lot of standing space. Think airport buses. airport bus interior

For longer trips, benches become preferred. This is what subways target since most of rides on one line are sub-30 minutes.

For long trips, around an hour, rows of chairs become preferred. This is what in the buses that you refer to.

For longest trips yet, but still within the realm of public transit and not coach, rows of benches come into play, such as in ex-USSR electrichka trains. elektrichka interior

So it's the matter of targeting usage patterns. You can also see a range of varieties. Some buses have low floor section with bench-oriented chairs, space for permambulator or wheelchair. enter image description here


Just thinking aloud...

Right now, with forward-facing seating, in the event of a sudden stop or accident, passengers will tend to be stopped by the seat in front of them, and are reasonably well contained should the bus flip over laterally. In long bench-style seating along the length of the bus, I think passengers are far more likely to be propelled along the length of the bus, which would dramatically exacerbate any injuries.

Also, bench seating reduces seating capacity at the expense of standing capacity. Standing passengers are far more in danger of injury than are seated passengers.

Subways/metros of course use these styles of seating but collisions are far rarer due to the controlled traffic of the train lines, and the trains can run in either of two directions, so facing passengers forward is more challenging - you never know which direction "forward" is until the train runs.

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    I'm upvoting because this is a good answer and to counter act the totally wrong and misleading downvote.;) – Johns-305 Apr 11 '18 at 19:41

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