METRO Houston Implements New Fleet with Kiel Coach Seats
US-seating specialist delivers over 5,200 lightweight, German-engineered seats for new fleet of 95 MCI commuter coaches
Kiel North America, a trendsetting seat provider to transit systems around the world, announced today that it has been delivering 95 sets of its premium quality coach seats to Metropolitan Transit Authority of Harris County (METRO Houston) in partnership with Motor Coach Industries (MCI), a leading intercity coach manufacturer in the US and Canada.
Houston is the nation’s fourth-largest city with one of the most rapidly growing metro areas. METRO’s new MCI Commuter Coaches will replace older equipment and allow for the expansion of its commuter express services while adhering to the agency’s ambitious “Going Green” program and federal fuel efficiency standards. MCI has been part of Houston’s transportation scene since 2001, when METRO began to use the highway-styled MCI Commuter Coach in the infancy of its Park & Ride initiatives. This is the first time METRO has opted for Kiel seats.
“Kiel is a relatively new supplier to MCI,” said Tom Wagner, MCI Vice President of Public Sector Sales. “Kiel’s support of the Houston Metro delivery has been excellent, and industry feedback has been positive as well. We’re very pleased to offer Kiel seating as an option on our Commuter Coach model.” The new Metro coaches are equipped with 55 Avance 2010 recliner seats designed and engineered by Kiel.
The American Public Transportation Association (APTA) relied on several of the 45-foot, clean-diesel MCI Commuter Coaches with Kiel seating for shuttle service during EXPO 2014, Oct. 13 to Oct. 15 in Houston, allowing attendees to experience the comfort and amenities of the newest members of the METRO fleet first-hand.
The German-based company has been providing innovative seating systems for the bus and rail sector since 1945 and established its U.S. headquarters and manufacturing plant in Indiana in 2009. For the METRO coaches, Kiel’s signature slender and sleek design with Avance provides maximum seating comfort with an adjustable backrest, and ergonomically shaped back and seat pad for optimal lumbar support. Three-point passenger seatbelts offer additional safety. The overall low weight of just 67 lbs. per double seat further adds to the industry-leading fuel economy of the coach.
“We are excited to be part of the METRO fleet with our lightweight and premium-comfort seating systems,” says Thomas Schwank, General Manager of Kiel North America. “METRO is continually challenging itself and its suppliers to deliver better, more efficient, and higher quality solutions, and setting an example for other transit systems around the country. It has been extremely gratifying for Kiel North America to be part of this newest project and we are confident that the MCI commuter coach and our seats will be a most durable and reliable asset to the METRO ridership.”
Motor Coach Industries (MCI), headquartered in Des Plaines, Illinois, is the leading intercity coach manufacturer in the United States and Canada, with sales, service and repair facilities in both countries. The MCI J4500 coach model has been the industry's best-selling intercity coach for 10 consecutive years. MCI's D-Series, including its Commuter Coach, is the best-selling line of coaches in industry history. MCI is also the distributor of the Setra S 417, Setra S 407 and Setra parts in the U.S. and Canada. The company offers 24-hour technical support and industry-leading technician training along with the market's most extensive aftermarket parts and repair service.
Founded in 1945 in Nördlingen, Germany, Kiel is a leading manufacturer of innovative passenger seating systems for commercial vehicles and public transportation, including seating solutions for buses and trains on the local, regional, and intercity level. Kiel seats distinguish themselves with their high quality, sophisticated technology, and their contemporary design while meeting the highest requirements both in safety and passenger comfort. Kiel conducts business worldwide with manufacturing facilities in the United States, Germany, Poland, Netherlands, Italy, Spain, and Turkey and dedicated sales teams in Greece, France, Austria, and the UK.
Susa Quinn | Kiel NA LLC | Head of Corporate Communications