Improved health protection and better security for fare box revenues – these are the benefits of a new high-quality driver protection system that HÜBNER has developed together with the Kassel Public Transport Company (KVG). The safety glass partitions have been installed in a total of 78 city buses operating in Kassel, Germany. The two companies presented the new system to the public in the presence of State Secretary Jens Deutschendorf from the Hessen Ministry for Economics, Energy, Transport and Housing.
"With these partitions we can protect both our bus drivers and our passengers against the coronavirus. At the same time, with the installation of the partitions contact between passengers and drivers has become easier," remarked KVG Director Dr. Thorsten Ebert. "The installation of these high-quality, TÜV-approved glass partitions in our buses lets us take a big step towards successful daily operation under the new conditions – particularly because starting Monday school will be in session again and we will be returning to our full schedule of operation."
Since mid-March of this year, the KVG had implemented a range of protective measures in connection with the coronavirus. In buses, these included the separation of the driver cockpit from the passenger area and keeping the front door of buses closed to passengers for getting on and off the bus. The sale of tickets by bus drivers was also suspended. These limitations in service can now be discontinued.
State Secretary Deutschendorf pointed out that the state of Hessen has made approximately three million euros available to subsidize the installation of the new partitions in transit buses throughout Hessen. "The economic effects of the corona pandemic for public transport have been enormous. We have a great interest in seeing that public transport operations return to normal and at the same time that bus drivers are adequately protected, especially with schools opening again next week. The partitions also make it possible that tickets can be sold in the buses again." The driver protection system developed by the HÜBNER Group and the KVG is "a perfect example of successful cross-sector cooperation between Hessian companies."
Ticket sales once again possible
Fixtures that separate the driver cockpit from the passenger area in transit buses are to be found in many public transport systems in Germany. The new system now introduced in Kassel and brought into use for the first time in regular public transport operations is different from these in a number of important ways. "The system can be retrofitted for all types of buses and provides long lasting, reliable protection in contrast to the less durable short-term plastic solutions that have been implemented elsewhere, with their well-known visibility problems. The glass partitions by contrast are scratch-resistant and made of anti-reflective safety glass," explains Helge Förster, General Manager of the HÜBNER Group. With its headquarters in Kassel, the HÜBNER Group is a major supplier of the bus industry worldwide. "An antiviral coating of all contact surfaces provides additional protection for driving personnel."
With this high-quality, sturdy and durably designed protection, bus drivers can now provide information more easily and also sell tickets to passenger again. "This makes it easier to use public transport services and facilitates ticket sales to our passengers," commented Dr. Ebert happily.
As a global system supplier for the mobility industry, for manufacturing and for life sciences and research applications, the HÜBNER Group is the worldwide leader in gangway systems for buses and railway vehicles (Mobility), a well-recognized specialist for sophisticated elastomer solutions and products, insulation and composite materials (Material Solutions), as well as a supplier for applications in the field of laser, terahertz and high frequency technologies (Photonics). The HÜBNER Group employs more than 3,500 persons worldwide. In addition to the headquarters in Kassel, Germany, HÜBNER has established more than 30 locations around the world.