What Goes into Making a Bus Wheelchair Accesible

Making a bus wheelchair accessible is no small feat, as a number of things need to be carefully thought through to ensure ease of use for both the wheelchair-bound patron, and for the operator. Boarding options need to be planned out, including whether there will be frontward boarding, backward boarding, or both options available. Also, the wheelchair needs to be able to fit within the aisle and potentially turn around to reach it’s designated spot – this requires careful space planning and calculations to ensure that the space around the wheelchair designated spot will be adequate. A designated wheelchair spot in the bus needs to be addressed. Often this area is placed behind the driver’s seat to allow for ease of boarding and disembarking. Other things need to be considered, such as – will attachment security belts be required or available if needed? Attachment belts typically fit best when the wheelchair designated spot is placed behind the driver’s seat. When making a bus wheelchair accessible, it’s important to keep in mind that a wheelchair-bound customer should: have the ability to maneuver safely and effectively, have safe and effective mobility aids, and should have an attendant available to help them board or exit the bus when needed. It is important to also think about potential issues at hand: is there an option for more than one wheelchair on the bus? Where will the second designated spot be? These things all need to be considered, especially for public bussing systems. In order to make a bus safe and effective for patrons in wheelchairs, there are a number of considerations to be made. At the top of the list is ensuring safe and effective transport for any patrons requiring use of a wheelchair while on the bus.

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