The Berliner Verkehrsbetriebe (BVG) have presented the new pattern of their seat covers – and they should catch the passengers’ eyes quite a bit. Anyone who travels by bus, tram or subway will in future be sitting on a swarm of people in different colors – rusty red, light blue, egg yolk yellow, beige and black – lying in each other’s arms, with a dog hiding somewhere in between.
“We now have a pattern that depicts the diversity that makes Berlin so special,” said Christine Wolburg, Head of Sales and Marketing at BVG at the presentation on Tuesday.
The fact that the BVG gives itself a new design does not happen voluntarily. The company is dropping the popular worm pattern over a usage rights dispute with the designer. However, according to Wolburg, they did not want to rely on the night line design across the board. “The night line design is a very practical pattern. But it stands for nothing.”
Instead, a design was sought that was reminiscent of the design officially called “Urban Jungle” that had been in use for years – and should still be more than a pattern. “The new one has a message,” said Wolburg.
It will be many years before it can be seen everywhere in vehicles. Initially, only the two pre-series vehicles in the new double-decker series drove around town with it.
Starting next year, the old seat upholstery will be gradually replaced as part of the repairs to the existing fleet. “It will be really visible in the area with the new electric buses, which will be delivered in 2024 and 2025,” said Bus Area Manager Torsten Mareck.
The new e-buses that are coming later this year still have the old pattern. This could no longer be changed. However, the newly ordered trams and subways will be delivered with the new seat design in the next few years.
In the existing fleet, however, change will take time. “A subway has to be inspected every eight years,” said Mareck. Only then would the seats be replaced. By the time all vehicles of the new model are driving through the city, he assumes, the BVG bus fleet will also be fully electrified – according to the 2030 plan.