WMATA set to replace fabric seats with vinyl seats on all 1500+ buses by 2025

WMATA set to replace fabric seats with vinyl seats on all 1500+ buses by 2025 Image credit: WMATA

The Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority (WMATA, Metro) is rolling out a major customer improvement on all its buses: vinyl seats. Nearly 40 buses have had their cloth seats replaced with modern, easier-to-clean and maintain vinyl, similar to the material used on Metrorail trains. 

Metro is joining many transit agencies across the country that are transitioning away from fabric seats. Customers have long asked for more sanitary material that doesn’t absorb spills, stains, and odors. Vinyl is a more resilient material with several advantages over cloth, such as increased hygiene, better overall appearance, and less smell absorption. Metro will also save money in the short and long term by buying vinyl seats over fabric seats.

The Metrobus team tested vinyl seats on one bus as a pilot before deciding to roll out the seats across the Metrobus fleet. Riders responded positively about the comfort and appearance and Metro staff found the installation process to be easy and seats more durable. 

More seats are being installed on buses every week with the goal of completing all 1,500-plus buses in 2025.

Source: WMATA