Due to the financial crisis many cities (if not all) are forced to reduce services provided by their public transportation authorities. For example, the bus line number 53 in Brno will no longer serve Brno University of Technology campus with the Faculty of Business and Management building and dorms where approximately 3,000 students live. Instead, students and faculty will have to walk over 400 meters to the nearest tram stop.
Meanwhile, the transit authority in the town of Olomouc [English pages here] is going to buy brand new low-floor buses soon. And people can vote on the most suitable style and material for the seats used: plastic / cushioned / wooden / combined.
Although wood may seem like “this is so 1920’s”, it is not unusual in Europe these days. The streets of Vienna, Austria are served by three types of trams, two of which have wooden benches. And there are still a few buses in Bratislava (old-style, Hungarian-made) with wooden seats too.
Most cities in the Czech Republic experience vandalism on buses and trams. From what I saw, vandals “focus” on windows and walls, and should they decide to damage the new seats, any aforementioned type can be damaged. Too bad that the types in question do not include steel (like park benches)…