In addition to meeting ADA requirements, motor coach operators with wheelchair-lift-equipped coaches gain more opportunities to serve mobility-impaired veterans, seniors and others. Now, Motor Coach Industries offers OEM wheelchair-lift retrofit packages with set pricing and installation to factory standards for quality and safety.
MCI, which, in 1984, became the first intercity coach manufacturer to offer wheelchair lifts on its coaches, builds hundreds of lift-equipped coaches each year.
Due to its factory expertise, MCI’s wheelchair lift retrofit installation program, offered through MCI Service Parts, matches OEM standards. Both Ricon and Braun lifts are available, depending on original coach specifications.
The installations take place at MCI’s own heavy-duty repair facility in Loudonville, Ohio, where trained technicians use the proper tools to make sure that every lift looks and performs like it’s been on board since day one — and is installed to original quality standards.
“With the availability of federal accessibility grant funds, and the long mileage life obtained with MCI models, our wheelchair lift retrofit program is designed to assure high-quality results and a cost structure that allows operators to lock in predictable pricing,” said Stan Dzierzega, executive director of operations, Aftermarket Business for MCI. “Our OEM installations maintain the structural integrity of the coach, and the interior design is matched as close as possible with inside seat tracks welded to structural steel to assure safety and security.”
Fullington Trailways, a tour, charter and fixed-route operator based in Central Pennsylvania, has had a number of its coaches retrofitted with wheelchair lifts at the MCI Loudonville facility. In fact, Fullington recently received a grant from the Federal Transit Administration (FTA) Over-the-Road Bus Accessibility Program that will allow the company to add wheelchair lifts to four more of its MCI J4500 coaches. “We’re very pleased with the installation process in Loudonville,” said Milt Weisman, vice president of intercity coach services for Fullington Trailways. “ The quality is exceptional. Our coaches look like the wheelchair lift was built in at the start, and that’s why we continue to go back to Loudonville.”
With MCI wheelchair lift retrofit installation operators get:
- A fast idle circuit to make sure the coach battery can handle additional electrical loads
- Engineered rerouting of air ducts for non-interrupted HVAC system service
- Additional safety interlocks to ensure that the coach stays in park while the wheelchair lift is in use
- OEM fit and finish, inside and out, including seat fabric matches.