[IMAGE]MV-1-NY-MTA-full-2.jpg[/IMAGE]Last summer, MTA Long Island Bus's Able-Ride service added four-door sedans to its paratransit fleet as part of a pilot program to diversify its mix of vehicles. Now, it's getting ready to take the next step by looking at "purpose-built wheelchair accessible vehicles." These ADA-compliant vehicles cost approximately $40,000 each, while a paratransit bus costs about $100,000.
With the need for paratransit service continuing to grow throughout the MTA service territory, a key strategic initiative is to address this increasing demand for service while maximizing cost efficiencies. Maintenance for these vehicles costs about half of what it does on the larger buses.
Recently, the manufacturer of the First Mobility Vehicle, or MV-1, took their demonstrator car to the Stewart Ave. depot in Garden City to get reaction from the disabled community on Long Island.
"It's based on standard taxi in London," said Dave Schembri, CEO of Vehicle Production Group LLC (VPG), which will begin production manufacturing the vehicles as early as this fall. "We saw the same concept could be used to solve accessibility issues."
Similar to fixed route buses, the MV-1 has a deployable ramp that carries a 1,200-pound capacity and can sit five passengers — including two forward-facing wheelchairs or scooters. The ADA-compliant vehicle is available in either gasoline or compressed natural gas models.