INNOVATIVE KERB DESIGN TO IMPROVE BUS ACCESS

By: Fabian Cotter, Photography by: courtesy Bridgestone Corporation


BUSES ACROSS JAPAN could now soon be able to draw up closer to the kerb – thereby bettering access for wheelchair users, senior citizens and those with strollers – thanks to a new kerb-stone design, tyre manufacturer Bridgestone Corporation has announced.

INNOVATIVE KERB DESIGN TO IMPROVE BUS ACCESS
The new barrier-less docking system was first introduced in Okayama, Japan, in June, 2019, and is now being adopted by the Tokyo Metropolitan Government.

According to the company, it allows buses to pull closer because the design includes a specially engineered slope that more smoothly interacts with the shape of the tyre to decrease tyre sidewall wear and vibration.

Bridgestone says its extensive tyre and material expertise helped produce this new kerb solution, which will deliver barrier-less bus access in the newly constructed athlete village for the Olympic and Paralympic Games Tokyo 2020.

As the world’s largest tyre and rubber manufacturer and the official tyre partner of the Olympic and Paralympic Games, in leveraging its knowledge of commercial bus tyres and rubber Bridgestone is working with a collaborative group in Japan to develop the new kerb-stone design.

It can also be customised to fit common tyre and vehicle sizes that use a specific kerb location, the company explains.

The result is a significantly smaller gap between the kerb and bus entrance, which provides easier and safer on-and-off access for passengers.

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MULTI-VEHICLE APPLICATION

The new barrier-less docking system was first introduced in Okayama, Japan, in June, 2019, and is now being adopted by the Tokyo Metropolitan Government.

The first installation in Tokyo will be completed in February 2020 in the Tokyo 2020 Olympic and Paralympic Village. The installation will include nearly 395 meters of kerb designed to accommodate a variety of tyre and vehicle sizes, Bridgestone explains.

The company continues to work with the Tokyo Metropolitan Government and other metro areas to identify future locations for the new solution that will benefit people across Japan beyond Tokyo 2020, it adds.

"Bridgestone was founded on a mission of serving society, and we bring that to life every day through our efforts to improve how people move, live, work and play," said Masaaki Tsuya, chairman of the Board, CEO and representative executive officer, Bridgestone Corporation.

"We have some of the world’s top experts in tyre and rubber science committed to solving the evolving needs and challenges of a world in constant motion.

"Through projects like this, we’re focused on leveraging our vast knowledge to help create advanced solutions that remove barriers and increase accessibility for all people - in public bus transportation and beyond."

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FOR ALL ABILITIES     

Bridgestone confirms it does not manufacture nor sell the product, but has been responsible for its primary design, testing and verification in collaboration with Yokohama National University, the Japan Transportation Planning Association, and Advance Co., Ltd.

As the only worldwide Olympic and Paralympic partner with its global headquarters in the host city, Bridgestone is proud to provide its products, services, solutions and advanced technologies to enhance the Tokyo 2020 experience for people of all abilities, it says.

The Olympic and Paralympic Games Tokyo 2020 are one of several upcoming milestone moments where Bridgestone will showcase its new, industry-leading technology concepts and ongoing transformation to become a truly global company, it states.

The company will issue additional announcements regarding its contributions to Tokyo 2020 and beyond over the coming months, it says. 

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ABOUT BRIDGESTONE

Bridgestone Corporation, headquartered in Tokyo, is the world’s largest tyre and rubber company, it states. In addition to tyres for use in a variety of applications, it also manufactures a range of diversified products, which include industrial rubber and chemical products and sporting goods. Its products are sold in more than 150 nations and territories around the world, it says.

Bridgestone proudly became a Worldwide Olympic Partner in 2014 and a Worldwide Paralympic Partner in 2018. The company has global rights to the Olympic Movement and Paralympic Movement through to 2024, a period that includes the Olympic and Paralympic Games Tokyo 2020, Beijing 2022 and Paris 2024.

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