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 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.