June 16, 2013

How to Choose Wheelchair Lifts for Buses

By Max Jon

The design of accessible public transport can differ greatly from the design of private vehicles for mobility challenged users. This is because public transport vehicles need to be able to carry passengers of all different abilities, from fully able passengers, to elderly passengers requiring a seat, blind passengers with guide dogs or alone, mothers with pram and wheelchair users. The wheelchair lifts fitted on buses therefore need to be compact and efficient to give all passengers enough room to feel comfortable.

While most public buses in use can easily accommodate a mobility challenged passenger, there are some public vehicles in use that have been optimised for seating multiple special needs passengers, with the addition of a cleverly designed wheelchair lift. These buses often feature an alternate entry point for mobility challenged users, allowing them an easy access and exit from the vehicle, ensuring that there is no congestion of passengers.

As an alternative to the traditional wheelchair lift, many accessible bus designs feature ramps to allow an even more free access to the vehicle. Ramp designs should allow the mobility challenged person to enter the bus completely without assistance, making the whole process faster and more dignified for the passenger. When choosing a wheelchair lift or ramp to retrofit to a bus, you should consider the companies with the most industrial experience to find the most advanced and well thought out designs.

You should also look out for mobility products that are certified as safe for public use and will comply with all legal and insurance obligations. The last thing you want is for your chosen wheelchair lift to break down suddenly while on the road or to put a passenger in an unsafe situation.

Long term warranties, five years or more, can also be useful in determining the quality of any vehicle adaptation. For large fleets of accessible buses it also makes sense to choose a large conversion company that will be able to provide consistent results and comprehensive repairs when needed.

When choosing a lift for a public vehicle such as a community bus, you should also consider what kind of route the bus will regularly take. If it is a city bus that only drives on well-built roads and picks up passengers at accessibility designed bus stops, a simple and low-cost ramp should be the only mobility accessory needed. For country buses and multi-purpose vehicles, however, mobility devices that can be used in all terrains are necessary.

This Article is submitted by Max Jon behalf of Capital Special Vehicles.CSV deals in vehicle conversions and wheelchair accessible vehicles. They are also known for installing wheelchair lifts and providing services for disabled cars.

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