Trial interior aims to create the ‘ultimate on-board experience’



Council-owned bus operator Reading Buses has launched a trial of a radical concept that aims to inform its future thinking about vehicle interiors. The operator claims that it has resulted in ‘the coolest buses in the world’.

Journeys on the operator’s Claret-branded 21A service, which operates on weekdays during term time linking the University of Reading’s Whiteknights Campus with the town centre, have been relaunched as Claret Spritzer.

From next month the vehicles used on this route will feature a new look interior that aims to provide the ultimate on-board social experience for students on the move. It will see each of the four Scania double deckers used on these journeys extensively refurbished with a new zonal concept on the upper deck.

It includes a lounge area, games pod with a gaming tablet and desktop games, table seating area and a micro library with an honesty book exchange service.

The vehicles also offer super-fast 4G Wi-Fi connectivity, USB chargers throughout each bus and the world’s first contactless charging pads on public transport that can be used by passengers whose devices support this feature.

“Due to recent changes in our fleet, we had an excellent opportunity to trial something a bit different on board the buses operating to the university,” said Martijn Gilbert, chief executive of Reading Buses. “As a company which is always seeking to innovate and improve its service offering, we hope that by pushing the boundaries of seating layouts and harnessing the latest technologies these rather different buses will create quite a buzz about bus travel.”

He added that the buses will help prove concepts which will shape the future of the operator’s interiors.“We will be undertaking detailed research into how our customers find this very different approach to the on board experience,” Gilbert said.





Upper deck zones
The fully carpeted upper deck of the Claret Spritzer vehicles has been segregated into separate zones for specific functions. These include a ‘study zone’ complete with tables and an honesty library, a ‘play zone’ and a chill out ‘lounge zone’ at the rear with club-style seating.



Game for a laugh?
The ‘play zone’ includes touchscreen tablets equipped with a host of games for Claret Spritzer passengers to try.



Lounge music
The ‘lounge zone’ at the rear of the upper deck features a music jukebox that passengers sitting in the rear lounge seats can connect to via Bluetooth or a cable, enabling them to play some of their favourite tunes. Device battery getting low? Not to worry – there’s tabletop wireless charging!

This article appears inside the latest issue of Passenger Transport.

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