MAN Truck & Bus
Bus drivers are key workers. A fact that has been impressively demonstrated by the coronavirus crisis, which has made one thing immediately apparent: Anyone sitting behind the wheel of a bus comes into contact with lots of people over the course of the working day and is thus exposed to an elevated risk of infection with coronavirus. That’s why temporary screens were fitted during lockdown to protect drivers. They were usually realised with the help of plastic film or windows, which often impaired visibility, so they couldn’t be a permanent solution.
That’s why MAN has now developed a special hygienic protective screen for drivers to further prevent infection without restricting visibility and impairing road safety. “The screen reaches up to the ceiling and separates the driver’s cab from the passenger area and therefore protects both drivers and passengers,” said Heinz Kiess, Head of Product Marketing Bus at MAN Truck & Bus, and continued: “The safety of drivers is important to us. It is, after all, the drivers who are the ones who are going out every day to get passengers to their destinations.”
The hygiene screen is available in two versions: closed or with an opening for selling tickets. MAN Service is able to quickly fit the high screen, which has been made with certified toughened safety glass, and it’s now possible to retrofit all city and intercity buses as well as all coaches.
The screen is available for the new generation of the MAN Lion’s City ex works and for retrofitting from after-sales. MAN Service is also working with the MAN Bus Modification Center in Plauen to implement individual retrofit solutions for models from the previous generation of Lion’s City and Lion’s Intercity as needed. It’s further possible to convert the barrier behind the driver’s cab on the coaches in the MAN Lion’s Coach and NEOPLAN Tourliner series into hygiene screens.
The hygiene screen was developed in close cooperation with bus companies and MAN partners. Interest in a solution was high, particularly in view of the fact that the strict distancing and hygiene regulations currently in force will at some point be relaxed. Drivers will be coming into closer contact with larger numbers of people at the latest when boarding at Door 1 becomes the norm again. Additional protection from coronavirus and other infectious diseases will then be in the interest of all concerned.
Upgrade MAN is now offering such additional hygiene features as non-contact hand sanitisers for passengers for retrofitting in its city buses as well as its intercity and other coaches.
MAN Truck & Bus has introduced another innovation to reduce the risk of smear infections with viruses and bacteria: It’s now possible to equip buses with disinfectant dispensers. These are sensor-controlled and therefore make non-contact hand sanitisation possible. The dispenser will automatically release a broad spray when the sensor is activated. The spray is so fine that it will not stain the floor or surrounding areas. The dispenser is housed in a vandal-proof stainless-steel casing and powered from the vehicle’s own power supply. That saves drivers from the cumbersome task of having to replace batteries.
How safe from infection with diseases am I on long coach journeys? Many passengers have been asking themselves that question since the outbreak of the coronavirus pandemic. In conjunction with MAN and other manufacturers of buses and air-conditioning systems, the Bundesverband Deutscher Omnibusunternehmer (BDO – Federal Association of German Bus and Coach Operators) has produced a leaflet that provides passengers with information about how effective and safe air-conditioning and air-exchange systems in coaches are. The two-page pamphlet lays out how effectively modern air-conditioning systems are able to exchange air. A clear illustration helps communicate the relationships at a glance. A link and QR code will also take readers to a short video that complements the explanations.
Air-conditioning systems must be checked regularly to ensure that air is being exchanged properly. MAN Service has introduced comprehensive maintenance and cleaning packages to help ensure that air-borne viruses, bacteria and fungi do not settle in the air-conditioning system.
The safety of the drivers is very important to us. After all, they are the people who go out every day to keep the passenger transport running.