3 Ways to Increase the Accessibility of a Bus
For many years, people with disabilities would struggle to use many forms of transport due to the difficulty they would have safely entering and exiting a vehicle. Thankfully, increasing numbers of transportation companies are now taking steps to improve accessibility. Below is a guide to 3 ways you can make your bus more accessible.
Many disabled people have trouble climbing steps. For this reason, many modern buses are now fitted with what is called a low floor which does not contain any steps. While it may not be possible to remove all steps from the inside of a bus or coach, removing steps from the entrance area and corridor which leads to the nearest seats will greatly improve accessibility. If the low floor on your bus only allows access to certain seats, you should clearly mark these as priority seats which should be primarily used by disabled people and request that passengers give up the seats if a disabled person enters the bus.
Ramps and Hydraulics
Even if your bus has a low floor, wheelchair users may find it difficult to move from street level to the floor level of your bus. There are two solutions to this. Firstly, you can invest in wheelchair ramps which can be easily deployed by trained staff. The second solution involves installing a hydraulic pump on the suspension of the wheel which is nearest to the passenger entrance. When the driver flicks a switch in his cab, the hydraulic pump lowers the suspension on the wheel, so the floor of the bus and kerb are more or less level. Once the wheelchair user is onboard, the pump can be reactivated to raise the suspension so the bus can continue its journey.
Once a wheelchair user is on the bus, the next problem they often face is finding a space. Wheelchairs can be bulky, and this can make them difficult to manoeuvre. The best way of dealing with this problem is to create a designated wheelchair space onboard. To do this, you need to remove some seating near the entrance to your bus. Once the seats have been unbolted and removed, you will need to install a handrail and a sign which reminds wheelchair users to apply their parking brake once they are in position.
If you would like to find out more about accessible transportation, you should contact a transport company today.