Bus Design for the Elderly and the Handicapped 760082
Concern for the accommodation of the elderly and handicapped in all public facilities has in the past decade become a new design challenge for architects and engineers. In the past five years, based in part upon legislative actions at the Federal and state levels, considerable research and development activities have been initiated related to this problem in mass transportation. This paper focuses on the design problems associated with accommodating the ambulatory elderly and handicapped as well as individuals in a wheelchair on full-size urban transit buses. The results of research activities during the development, testing, and public demonstrations of advanced prototype transit buses is presented. The focus of the paper is on the technical feasibility of bus design features and does not deal with operational or economic questions related to transportation of the handicapped. While the research conducted was supported by the Urban Mass Transportation Administration (UMTA), the discussions in this report do not reflect UMTA policy in this area.