How do you safely transport people during the corona crisis, without breaking any rules? Many transport companies are struggling with that question. Coach company, Van Gompel, from Veldhoven, has a solution. The company’s converted two buses, apparently making them ‘corona proof’.
Director, Gert-Jan Lommerse, proudly shows one of those converted buses to a local media outlet, Omroep Brabant. “People are only allowed to sit at the window seats. In this way, we ensure that people sit 1,5 m from each other.”
“Of course, you aren’t at that distance from the person sitting behind you. So we put sheets of plexiglass between the seats. Then no one can cough or sneeze on your neck. That’s how we keep it safe.”
Only four buses still running
The coach company mainly transports people to and from work, older people and schoolchildren. Because of the corona crisis, that’s almost completely stopped. Lommelse says, “Of the 30 buses we’ve got, only four are still on the road.”
“When we heard Prime Minister Rutte talking on TV about the 1,5 m rule, we started making a plan on how to implement that in public transport. We tried several things. Including stretching pieces of tarp behind the seats. But plexiglass turned out to work best.”
The advantage of these ‘corona proof’ buses is that they can carry 26 people. Whereas in buses without plexiglass, only nine passengers are allowed. That’s because 1,5 m must be kept free between the seats.
Van Gompel’s now made two buses ‘corona proof’. They want to convert a third as soon as possible. Director Lommerse isn’t afraid other companies will copy this idea. “As far as we know, we’re the first to make these ‘corona proof’ buses. But if others copy it, that’s fine. The main thing is that passengers and drivers stay safe.”
Translation: Chaitali Sengupta, who gives Inburgering classes. Click here for more info.