Home > Transit > Thumbs up for passive restraint system

Thumbs up for passive restraint system

November 15, 2011 Leave a comment Go to comments

Meet “Andrea”, my first customer to try out the new passive restraint system on RapidRide B.  Ok, she’s not trying it out, she’s a pro and was happy to see I had a bus with this system on board.  She was quick to tell me how she prefers the freedom of this system and feels quite safe.  Another customer boarded a few weeks ago excited to use the passive restraint system.  Unfortunately I had drawn coach 6001 that day, so she was disappointed.  (6000 and 6001, both at East base currently,  are from the “A” line and are not equipped with the passive restraint system)  It’s hardly a scientific survey but so far 2 out of 2 mobility device users that I’ve spoken with prefer the passive restraint system.

From my perspective here are a couple of potential issues:  “Andrea” became a little lost since she was facing backwards and couldn’t see where the bus was going.  At one point she needed to ask me whether we were at her stop or not (we had one more to go).  Additionally, I find that many people like to sit on the fold down chairs around the two tie-down areas up front, which can create a bit of congestion.  I flip up the seats around the passive restraint system each trip to encourage folks to sit elsewhere.  (I leave the seats around the forward facing tie-down area down).  Additionally, it can be difficult to maneuver out of this position if people are sitting in the seats between the front and middle doors.  (Making these seats even less comfortable than they already are might help 🙂  Either way, it’s an improvement over the old system and so far folks seem to like it.

By the way, “Andrea” was quick to volunteer her name so I took that as tacit permission to use her name.  Then again, maybe it’s a fake name since it’s not every day your bus driver asks if he can take a picture of you for his blog.  I didn’t get the “you’re making me feel creepy” vibe from “Andrea” so hopefully she was Ok with all of this.

Categories: Transit Tags: ,
  1. November 15, 2011 at 1:19 pm

    Isn’t a fold down arm rest part of passive restraint system? Or are there different types?

    • Becky
      January 10, 2012 at 8:44 pm

      My understanding is that there are different types. All have some kind of barrier between the wheelchair and the aisle, but sometimes it’s just a vertical bar (which I think this is?) and sometimes there’s the armrest involved.

      Glad to see King County finally doing this!

  2. YoBusDriver
    November 21, 2011 at 2:58 am

    Can you do a write up on the differences between a traditional tiedown as opposed to the passive restraint system you are referring to here? I’m really curious sfbart the difference really is.

    • Andrea
      December 12, 2011 at 3:22 pm

      Hey, I am Andrea – the traditional tie down actually hooks into our chairs or mobility scooters. I hate it because it takes the time of the bus driver and they have to crawl around etc. Hate being a special case. With the traditional hook ups there are typically these retractable hooks and you have to hold out a release lever while pulling out two restratint devices. Then you have to connect those to the scooter or wheelchair somehow to try to ensure a secure hold which basically means that people like myself cannot disconnect at the end of my ride and again need the busdriver to help me.
      Now the passive is the best because all I have to do is push up a few seats and arm rests and then smoothly back in. This is really easy and low effort for the bus driver. When I am ready to get off it is really easy to just turn to face the front of the bus and go. I also like the Rapid Ride bus mechanism of the ramp vs. lift. The Lifts always make me feel like I will either overshoot and fly out the back or just generally hate the feeling of helplessness as I am being lifted into the bus. The Rapid Ride buses kneel and then unfurl a ramp = another thing I just love because I am in control and can go down as slow as I want.
      I agree with the negative of not seeing where I am going. But the only thing from a design factor that I don’t like is that the stop request button is right at the knee basically and is really easy to hit by mistake which means you have to ride very conscious of this at all time and that means I can’t just relax.

  1. No trackbacks yet.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: