Milwaukee, Wisconsin – Keeping a vehicle low to the ground isn’t just for sports cars. School bus manufacturer Collins Bus hopes that its lowriding design will save school districts money, speed loading and unloading, and allow students with special needs to ride the same buses as other students.
The low-floor design is 9” above ground level, meaning it doesn’t need steps for students who can walk onto the bus. And for those in wheelchairs using assistance devices, the bus can deploy a small ramp that takes students to the single large opening at the front – eliminating having to load special-needs students through rear doors or special openings.
Eliminating wheelchair lift devices should also make the buses more reliable – fewer systems that can break equal a bus with higher uptimes.
The school bus design uses a Ram ProMaster van chassis as its platform, a front-wheel drive system available with multiple FCA engine and transmission options.
Collins Bus General Manager Matt Scheuler calls the low-floor bus “a continuation of our commitment to developing innovative solutions for the school bus industry that increase student and driver safety. As the leader in Type A school buses, we are proud to offer a solution that provides equal accessibility to all passengers. It is simply the right thing to do for the industry."
John Walsh, president of the bus division for REV Group, Collins’ parent company, says, “Ever since the low-floor design was conceptualized internally we have been looking forward to this day. The enthusiasm and acceptance it has generated over the past week has been overwhelming from every segment of the industry from every corner of North America.”