The need for handi-bus services is not going to go away. In fact, the demand for handi-bus service is only going to increase. According to Statistics Canada, the number of seniors aged 65 and over has increased by 14.1% between 2006 and 2011 to nearly five million. This rate of growth was higher than that of children aged 14 and under (0.5%) and people aged 15 to 64 (5.7%). The fastest increase is coming from the 60 to 64 year old demographic where growth is happening at 29.1%. Increased age may also mean decreased mobility that will put additional stress on handi-bus type vehicles and services.
The challenge we continually see at MoveMobility with handi-transit type services is funding continues to drop and the costs of running these types of programs continually increase.
The Big Problem with Handi-Buses
The first and probably the biggest challenges handi-bus type services are running into is the cost to run a wheelchair transportation program. The classic handi-bus is heavy and burns a lot of gas.
The second big program is capacity is underutilized on these buses. The main complaint we hear from those who run these programs say riders find the seats and the ride to be uncomfortable. Let’s face it, riding in a bus for an hour or more that is uncomfortable, is a pretty big demotivation factor for ridership.
Lastly, the big buses don’t always regulate temperature properly. This adds to the already stiff and bumpy ride making things just that much more uncomfortable.
Handi-bus users are ready for a change and want a wheelchair accessible van that is comfortable. For those who operate handi-bus services want a vehicle that is affordable. A solution does exist which makes everyone happy.
MoveMobility now offers the RAM ProMaster with Auto-Floor. The RAM ProMaster is Ram’s flagship full-size van and the Auto-Floor by MoveMobility offers flexible wheelchair van flooring.
3 Reasons to love the RAM ProMaster with Auto-Floor
Reason #1 – You are no longer limited to set configurations in your vehicle. Over 1000 flooring configurations are possible.
The Ram ProMaster with Auto-Floor can allow you to have over 1000 seating configurations. You are able to transport up to 14 passengers plus your driver or hold up to six standard size wheelchairs. The way the floor is designed, it allows you to pop the seats in and out easily with the click of a button and the wheelchair restraint system locks easily in place. Passengers in the wheelchair accessible vehicle will feel safe and secure while traveling.
Reason #2 – You don’t have to do any additional work to the body of the wheelchair accessible vehicle.
The Ram ProMaster with Auto-Floor doesn’t require any additional modifications to the body of the van. Unlike the handi-bus where it is a chassis cutaway with a customized body added, the Ram ProMaster allows for the Auto-Floor to be easily installed on the inside along with anything else required in the design specs. Generally speaking, this allows for the turn around time of the vehicle to be produced in a lot less time than the time it takes to build a handi-bus.
Reason #3 – You now have a multi-use, wheelchair accessible vehicle. Reduce your total cost of ownership
The flexible flooring system allows the full-sized wheelchair van to be used in a variety of different ways. You can very quickly and easily convert the van over to transport whoever or whatever you need. For example, if the van needs to be used to transport all wheelchairs it is possible, if you need to transport everyone in seats, you can do that. Since the van can be used in multiple ways, this increases its ability to generate revenue. And, since the commercial van is smaller than a handi-bus, the cost of fuel is less and service costs will be less. The Ram ProMaster is smaller, lighter and uses a V6 engine versus the bus which has a V8 or V10 engine.
There are three great reasons to retire your handi-bus and switch to the Ram ProMaster with Auto-Floor. The flexible wheelchair van flooring system through Auto-Floor allows for multi-use and can be easily changed and configured.
Are you interested in how flexible wheelchair van flooring can help make your handi-bus program more profitable and increase ridership? Arrange your demonstration today by filling in the form below or visiting www.auto-floor.ca!