Seating is an inarguably critical feature for many commuters, whether they’re traveling in planes, cars, buses, or trains. An uncomfortable seat can turn the easiest of commutes into a long, uncomfortable trek.

Riders on San Francisco’s BART (Bay Area Rapid Transit) Fleet of the Future enjoy an exceptional ride thanks to Rogers’ BISCO® MF1® silicone foam.

Providing safety and passenger comfort, Rogers’ silicone foam gave design engineers the ability to enhance seat design while providing an optimum passenger experience. BISCO silicone foams are manufactured to comply with EN 45545 requirements (a standard for fire protection of railway vehicles) without the use of restricted toxic substances. The fire-resistant properties are inherent to its homogenous cell structure, eliminating the need for fire-block layers.

Comfort was of top concern as well. BART understood it was an issue of immense interest for their riders as extensive lab testing revealed that commuters were looking for a firm but cushioned feel in the seats.

Martin S. Linder, a professor in the School of Design and Industry at San Francisco State University, and an internationally recognized expert in industrial design, said it’s not surprising that seating design is a top concern of riders.

“This is the kind of stuff the public interfaces with,” said Linder, who has no connection with BART. “Seating is personal.”

Linder, also founder and CEO of MSL Design, consults for the Herman Miller furniture company on the design of seating in hospitals — another setting where seating is important.

He said in both health care and public transit settings, there are practical concerns, such as having easy-to-clean surfaces for sanitation, but that comfort also has a non-trivial role to play.

“The materials that you choose matter,” he said. “They have to be easily cleaned, with density and rigidity to sustain a lot of use but to provide empathy to the body. We are not computers. We are made of tissue and bones.”

The selection of Rogers’ BISCO silicone material illustrates that BART cares about its customers by keeping them both safe and comfortable – making the daily commute a whole lot easier.


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