Description: Folding seats are located along the entire interior sides of the coach. Eyelet-type holders are available for tying the bikes above or between the seats; windows; heating/ventilation; attractive interior design; wide entrance doors (preferably low floor entrances). Existing types of coaches in service with the DB AG: "DBuz", "Bnd".
Functions: The bicycles lean against each other along the folded seats and are fixed with a string or belt around them. Before the desired station, the passenger has to make sure that the bike that has to be unloaded is in front of the others. If there are only a few cyclists it is possible to sit and hold the bike. During the rush hour, the multi-purpose-compartment offers almost the same number of seats as a normal compartment but there are also (relatively) comfortable standing places. There is also space for wheelchairs, baby-carriages and bulky items. If necessary during wintertime, some of the folding seats can be replaced by standard seats.
Advantages: No additional staff are necessary, reasonable use is also possible by travellers without bikes. Transport of tandems, tricycles and bike-trailers is possible with the wide entrance doors.
Disadvantages: The passengers have to rearrange the bicycles by themselves if somebody wants to get off. There could be conflicts if passengers do not want to vacate the folding seats in order to let somebody park a bike.
Field of service: Standard coach for commuter trains.
The loss of seating is repeatedly put forward as a standard argument against multi-purpose compartments. This comparison shows that, in a standard-sized multi-purpose compartment 4 seating groups (= 16 seats) are replaced by 7 folding seats on both sides of the coach (= 14 seats). Folding seats of good quality are equivalent to normal seats. All the advantages of a multi-purpose compartment to satisfy a wide range of customer wishes can thus be gained at the cost of just two seats.