15 Dec 2018


Public transport operator in the Dutch government city, HTM, displayed its first eight VDL Citea electric SLF120 last week to the public. A scoop for the Netherlands is the Q'straint Quantum system to secure electric wheelchairs which HTM has installed in their new zero emission buses. The charging equipment is from Heliox.

The installed wheelchair restraint system, Q'straint Quantum. is a fully automatic fastening system where two 'arms' secure the wheels of the wheelchair. A test with the wheelchair from Salma Belmoussa proved during the test drive for this festive occasion why it is such a beautiful system. During a testdrive with the bus there was no movement in her wheelchair at all. The student sociology, who hopes to have her master's degree within two years, said that she felt firmly secured and at ease, as far as possible, between the various dignitaries, such as HTM director Jaap Bierman and the aldermen Kavita Parbhudayal (healthcare) and Robert van Asten (Mobility and member of the board of the Regional Transport Authority). "Part of the stability comes", Salma explained, "through my wheelchair, which is already very stable." It is a Permobil M5 Corpus, a beautiful wheelchair weighing 195 kilograms.

The Q'straint Quantum fastening system is a godsend for her because now she can travel on the bus. In the current MAN city buses she is not allowed to travel because of her electric wheelchair. "In 2016 my brother Salim and I went to the Dutch Human Rights Committee to demand that all HTM buses must be accessible for electric wheelchairs and we won, so I have good hope." With the arrival of the new Citeas with the Q'straint system, the freedom of movement for people in wheelchairs has become better and the judgement of the Committee for Human Rights is done justice, albeit for the time being only on one (new) bus line.

The eight electric Citeas connect the railway station in the city Voorburg which is a suburb on the east side of The Hague via Central Station with the harbour, where a new residential area rises. Here are also the two Heliox fast chargers situated. Depot charging is used at night. In addition to fast charging, depot charging is necessary to balance the batteries and thus extend the life span. VDL Bus & Coach supplies the installation including the project management.

A second novelty on this busline is an innovative LED indication in the pavement of the stop not only to show the driver where to halt the bus for charging with the pantograph but also shows the driver the charging status: green means good, blue is charging active and red, something is not right.

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