April 14, 2014

Champion's FlexBus to be tested for usability

Champion Bus Inc.’s next generation FlexBus transit shuttle will be provided for use as a test vehicle in a usability research study to evaluate the performance of low-floor buses for people with special physical needs.

The study, organized and conducted by the Dallas Smith Corp. and the Center for Inclusive Design and Environmental Access at the University of Buffalo, is part of a five-year project to evaluate current bus models and recommend improvements for future designs.

In the first phase of the study, groups who use manual wheelchairs, power wheelchairs, scooters, ambulation aids, and strollers will analyze new and existing ramp technologies.

The usability of boarding a next generation transit shuttle bus equipped with an electronically adjustable access ramp will be compared to the usability of boarding a conventional transit shuttle bus equipped with entry steps and a lift. The usability of uniform-slope access ramps will also be compared to ramps with grade breaks.

“We are very pleased to participate in this study which will compare the performance of our proprietary electronic ramp technologies on the FlexBus to conventional lift equipped vehicles,” said John Resnik, president of Champion Bus. “Our innovative air-ride suspension system has automatic sensing and self-leveling features that provide an even ramp slope for improved accessibility, making it the only one of its kind in the industry.”

The Equalizer ramp system comes with automatic sensing technologies that provide an even ramp slope for improved accessibility. The system makes passenger entry and exit much safer and improves route efficiency by decreasing boarding and exit times.

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