Driver's workplace in the standard transport bus

Project No. BIA 3037


completed 12/1996


Numerous investigations conducted in public transport vehicles show that ergonomic deficiencies of the driver's seats in standard transport busses represent an additional burden for the driver who must anyway cope with high physical and mental pressure. This is why the German Berufsgenossenschaft for trams, underground railways and railways conducted a research project to improve the safety and load situation of drivers of standard transport busses. Several interested parties co-operated in the project under the co-ordination of the Berufsgenossenschaft: operators of transport busses (city transport), manufacturers of transport busses, scientific institutes of the technical university of Aachen, associations, trade unions and the BIA. The project was aimed to develop an ergonomically and technically optimised global concept for the driver's workplace in standard transport busses. In the project the BIA was responsible for improving the workplace in terms of vibration-reduced driver's seats and exposure to climatic factors and hazardous substances.


Driver's seat (vibration exposure): The institute for motor engineering of the technical university of Aachen conducted vibration measurements at the seat mounting point and on the seat. The following parameters were evaluated: intensity of vibration, distribution of frequencies, damping efficiency of seats. As a result it was possible to define requirements in terms of damping qualities of future seats. These requirements formed the basis for technical improvements in the design of the spring/shock absorber combinations on the manufacturers' side.

Climate/hazardous substances: The indoor air quality in standard transport busses is mainly affected by substances (such as CO, CO2, diesel exhaust particles) introduced into the bus via the ventilation system and by passenger exhalation and perspiration. The actual load situation of bus drivers was determined under realistic workplace conditions; subsequently, approaches for improvement were described. These concepts were implemented and optimised in a co-operative effort by manufacturers of ventilation and heating system components, by manufacturers of busses and by the institute of motor engineering of the technical university of Aachen.


Driver's seat (vibration exposure): Prototypes of new driver's seats conceived in accordance with the performance requirements were tested by the BIA both under field conditions and in the laboratory. In some cases vibration reduction turned out to be clearly enhanced as a result of the advanced seat design; further improvements appeared to be possible at the end of the project.

Climate/hazardous substances: A completely new ventilation system was conceived for the driver's workplace. Above all, heating of the legroom was enhanced. In addition, it was made sure that fresh air introduced into the bus is filtered so that pollutant concentrations are lower and the climatic situation is clearly improved. Better air conduction prevents polluted air to flow from the passenger space to the driver's workplace.


Lastenheft, Fahrerarbeitsplatz im Linienbus, Berufsgenossenschaft der Straßen-, U-Bahnen und Eisenbahnen, Hamburg 1997

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Last Update:



Financed by:
  • BG Straßen-
  • U-Bahnen und Eisenbahnen
  • EvoBus GmbH
  • MAN Nutzfahrzeuge AG
  • Neoplan G. Auwärter GmbH & Co.
  • Vestische Straßenbahnen
  • Herten
  • Verkehrsbetriebe Stadtwerke München
  • Aachener Straßenb.- und Energievers.-AG
  • Verkehrsbetriebe Stadtwerke Ulm/Neu-Ulm
Research institution(s):
  • Institut für Kraftfahrzeugwesen der RWTH Aachen
  • Institut für Arbeitswissenschaften der RWTH Aachen
  • Berufsgenossenschaftliches Institut für Arbeitssicherheit - BIA


Type of hazard:

Gestaltung von Arbeit und Technik, Gefahrstoffe, Lärm/Vibrationen


Klima, Vibration, Ergonomie

Description, key words:

standard transport bus, driver's workplace, load, climate, hazardous substances, driver's seat, vibration, ergonomics, vibration exposure