Motor Coach Industries (MCI) returned July 23 to the March to the U.S. Capitol sponsored by the National Council on Independent Living (NCIL), one of the nation's leading groups serving people with disabilities.
NCIL — a design participant in the MCI D45 CRT LE — has welcomed the unique, all-accessible coach as the only vehicle to join in its annual march in Washington, D.C., as part of its July 22 to 25 Annual Conference on Independent Living. The 1.5-mile march draws more than 1,000 people with disabilities, disability advocates and allies, members of Congress, and government officials.
NCIL Executive Director Kelly Buckland, who uses a wheelchair, was one of many volunteers for the disability community that evaluated concepts and final prototype design.
“You will see many transit agencies with accessibility committees that involve groups like ours, but this is the first time we’ve worked directly with a major manufacturer of motorcoaches to design a vehicle from Day One,” said Buckland. “The MCI D45 CRT LE addresses the day-to-day challenges people with disabilities face. MCI offered us unprecedented access to their process and incorporated our feedback throughout. And that is why this coach is part of the March to the U.S. Capitol.”
Recent U.S. Department of Transportation figures show that an estimated 25.5 million people have travel-limiting disabilities, accounting for 8.5% of the population ages five and older in 2017.
Featuring a curb-level ramp requiring minimal operator support, the coach allows passengers with mobility devices to board through a mid-coach door that opens directly into a same-level, patent-pending low floor entry (LE) vestibule. The vestibule offers passenger seating, including for those using mobility devices, plus companion seating, and amenities including power outlet access.
The coach offers the manual Q’Straint wheelchair securement system as standard and the automated Quantum securement system as on option for the rear-facing position on the right of the vestibule.
Since its unveiling in fall 2017, the MCI D45 CRT LE has joined public transit fleets and the private commuter service of a Silicon Valley giant. Georgia’s State Road and Tollway Authority, which manages the Xpress mobility and public transportation operations throughout the 12 counties surrounding metropolitan Atlanta, is the latest public transit system to place an order for the all-accessible MCI D45 CRT LE Commuter Coach.
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