The Low Floor Versus High Floor Lift Bus

When it comes to transporting passengers that require assistance or whom require wheelchair access, there are two types of shuttle buses available from A-Z Bus Sales; The low floor shuttle bus, or high floor, lift shuttle bus. Both types of shuttle buses are suitable for transporting passengers with disabilities, however, depending your transportation needs and budget, one type of bus may be more attractive over the other one.

arboc-spirit-of-freedomARBOC Specialty Vehicles created a great video (see below for video) demonstrating the difference between low floor entry and lift entry for the elderly passenger and passengers with disabilities. While the video is obviously biased toward the ARBOC product — and rightfully so considering they produced the video — keep in mind that both types of shuttle buses are suitable for a variety of applications such as assisted living facilities, hospitality industry to include hotels, motels, and casinos, and transit agencies. The type of shuttle bus you decide to purchase depends widely on your budget and transportation needs.

As an example, transit agencies may require speed of service, this is where a low floor bus has an advantage. Drivers can load several passengers at once via the low floor ramp, making loading and unloading quick, especially in hot weather. Loading passengers fast may not be a requirement for your transportation needs. As an example, health care, assisted living, senior centers, and hotels may not require fast loading and unloading of passengers. In this case, purchasing a high floor, lift bus may seem as an attractive option, especially since these types of shuttle buses often have a lower retail cost than the low floor shuttle buses. However, one thing to keep in mind with the lift buses is that drivers can only load one wheelchair bound passenger at a time.

Additional considerations when deciding the type of shuttle bus your needs require are fuel type. A-Z Bus Sales leads California with alternative fueled buses. We offer shuttle buses with CNG, Gas, Diesel, and Propane. For most transportation applications, gas and diesel buses are sufficient. Plus, refueling is easier since diesel and gas is readily available. However, transit agencies may have the CNG or propane infrastructure and may require these types of transit buses.

Making a new shuttle bus purchase depends on your transportation needs. Consider carefully, your budget, who you will be transporting, and how often you will be using the shuttle bus. For example, if you are a senior center or assisted living facility, you may operate your shuttle bus two to three times per week and transport just a few passengers at a time. In this case, a high floor, lift bus may be the right transportation solution for you. On the other hand, if you require faster load and unload times, like transit agencies, then the low floor bus is ideal.

Low Floor Bus vs High Floor Lift Bus Demo by ARBOC Specialty Vehicles

Back to top

Featured Parts

To request a quote or for additional information on a VMI/Revability Van, please call A-Z Bus Sales or complete the form below, A regional sales manager will contact you shortly.

For more information please contact the Commercial/Transit Division or complete and submit this form. 

To request a quote or for additional information on a BraunAbility Van, please call A-Z Bus Sales or complete the form below, A regional sales manager will contact you shortly.

To request a quote or for additional information on a ADA shuttle bus, please call A-Z Bus Sales or complete the form below, A regional sales manager will contact you shortly.

For more information please complete and submit this form.
An A-Z Bus Sales Team member will contact you shortly.

Specifications
Base Chassis
Ford Transit 350HD Passenger Van
GVWR
10,360 lbs
Minimum Wheelbase
148 in
Electric Vehicle Supply Equipment (EVSE)
Level 2 (6.6 kW) and Level 3 (up to 80 kW) with J1772 CCS Combo
Efficiency
61 MPGe / EPA City and 66 MPGe / EPA Highway
All Electric Range*
60 miles     |     120 miles
Battery Capacity
43 kWh     |     86 kWh
Charge Time
5.5 hours (Level 2)     |       11.25 hours (Level 2)

1 hour (Level 3)           |       1.5 hours (Level 3)
Payload and Passenger Capacity**
15 passengers including driver
Maximum Speed
65 mph (electronically limited)
Peak Power
215 HP (160 kW)
Torque Rating (after transmission)
733 lb-ft (994 Nm)
Warranty
• Base Chassis: Ford standard warranty

• EV Conversion: Lightning Systems standard warranty

(Powertrain and battery 5 year / 60,000 miles)
Analytics
• Preventive Maintenance • Range Analysis • Driver Behavior
Specifications
Base Chassis
Ford E-450 Shuttle, Cutaway, Stripped Chassis
GVWR
14,500 lbs
Minimum Wheelbase
176 in
Electric Vehicle Supply Equipment (EVSE)
Level 2 (6.6 kW) and Level 3 (up to 80 kW) with J1772 CCS-1 Combo
Efficiency
61 MPGe / EPA City and 66 MPGe / EPA Highway
All Electric Range*
80 miles     |     120 miles
Battery Capacity
86 kWh     |     129 kWh
Charge Time
(Level 2)

11.25 hours     |       16.75 hours

(DC Fast Charge)

1.5 hour          |        2.25 hours
Payload and Passenger Capacity**
7,980 lbs     |       7,200 lbs

(Weight of body is part of total payload)
Maximum Speed
65 mph (electronically limited)
Peak Power
241 HP (180 kW)
Torque Rating (after transmission)
790 lb-ft (1071 Nm)
Warranty
• Base Chassis: Ford standard warranty

• EV Conversion: Lightning Systems standard warranty

(Powertrain and battery 5 year / 60,000 miles)
Analytics
• Preventive Maintenance • Range Analysis • Driver Behavior
Specifications
Base Chassis
Ford F-550 (regular cab)
GVWR
17,500 - 19,500 lbs
Minimum Wheelbase
217 in
Electric Vehicle Supply Equipment (EVSE)
Level 2 (6.6 kW, 13.2 kW optional)

DC Fast Charge (up to 80 kW)

Connector J1772 CCS-1 Combo
All Electric Range*
100 miles
Battery Capacity
122 kWh
Charge Time
(Level 2 at 6.6 kW)

15.5 hours

(DC Fast Charge at up to 80 kW)

2 hours
Maximum Speed
65 mph (electronically limited)
Peak Power
241 HP (180 kW)
Torque Rating (after transmission)
811 lb-ft (1100 Nm)
Warranty
• Base Chassis: Ford standard warranty

• EV Conversion: Lightning Systems standard warranty

(Powertrain and battery 5 year / 60,000 miles)
Analytics
• Preventive Maintenance • Range Analysis • Driver Behavior

Contact Commercial & Transit Division

To learn more about electric buses and vans, charging infrastructure, or grant process assistance – please complete the form below to receive more information.

What is 23 + 78?

To request a quote or for additional information on a Nor-Cal Van, please call A-Z Bus Sales or complete the form below, A regional sales manager will contact you shortly.