The people who made this bus: Riders with disabilities guide epic redesign of new transit coach to appear at National Council on Independent Living (NCIL) rally to the U.S. Capitol, Tuesday, July 23
Techies, Bike Enthusiasts Benefit Too
- For the second year in a row, North American motor coach leader Motor Coach Industries (MCI) brings its new MCI D45 CRT LE to the National Council on Independent Living’s (NCIL) March & Rally July 23 at the U.S. Capitol — the only vehicle appearing at the event, which hosts nearly 1000 of disabled advocates from across the nation and marks the 29th anniversary of the anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), signed on July 26, 1990.
- The MCI D45 CRT represents the biggest change to bus design since MCI built the very first highway bus with a wheelchair lift, pioneering the first inboard-based elevator lift six years ahead of the ADA.
- Today 1 in 5 Americans have a disability; NCIL’s leadership advised on design of this revolutionary new commuter coach, which is built for highway speeds and features the first-ever second door with patented curb-level Low-Entry Vestibule with seating for improved ADA accessibility.
- MCI has positioned its newest Commuter Coach as the vehicle of choice for public and private transportation systems, serving a workforce of all ability levels. Offering sleek, contemporary exterior styling, the coach also sports techie- and millennial-friendly features including cabin-wide Wi-Fi, power outlets, USB ports at each seat and optional bike racks.
DES PLAINES, ILLINOIS, JULY 19, 2019: (TSX:NFI) Motor Coach Industries (MCI), a U.S. subsidiary of NFI Group Inc., (“NFI”), one of the world’s largest independent global bus manufacturers, is returning July 23 to the March to the U.S. Capitol sponsored by the National Council on Independent Living (NCIL), one of the nation’s leading groups serving people with disabilities.
NCIL — a design participant in the MCI D45 CRT LE — has welcomed the unique, all-accessible coach as the only vehicle to join in its annual march in Washington, DC, as part of its July 22-25 Annual Conference on Independent Living. The 1.5-mile march draws more than 1,000 people with disabilities, disability advocates and allies, members of Congress, and government officials.
The D45 CRT LE will be parked from 9-10, a.m. at the Grand Hyatt (at 11th and G Streets NW) and will then keep pace at the rear of the march concluding with NCIL’s Rally at the US Capitol starting at 11:00 a.m.
An accessible coach like no other
NCIL Executive Director Kelly Buckland, who uses a wheelchair, was one of many volunteers for the disability community that evaluated concepts and final prototype design.
“One of the things we learned was how valuable the engagement and feedback would be from everyday users of our vehicles for accessibility features. NCIL and others were directly reviewing our design as it developed. They told us it is still not common to make user groups part of the design process in transportation, an important part of a person’s independence,” said Tom Wagner, MCI vice president of public sector. “MCI is exceptionally proud to return as the pace bus for the March to the U.S. Capitol for this reason. We are very proud of this coach and the one-of-a-kind collaboration that built it.”
Said Buckland, “You will see many transit agencies with accessibility committees that involve groups like ours, but this is the first time we’ve worked directly with a major manufacturer of motor coaches to design a vehicle from Day One. The MCI D45 CRT LE addresses the day-to-day challenges people with disabilities face. MCI offered us unprecedented access to their process and incorporated our feedback throughout. And that is why this coach is part of the March to the U.S. Capitol.”
Recent U.S. Department of Transportation figures show that an estimated 25.5 million people have travel-limiting disabilities, accounting for 8.5% of the population ages five and older in 2017.
|The all-accessible MCI D45 CRT LE features a curb-level, patent pending low floor entry (LE) to secure, roomy vestibule for all passengers, including those with mobility devices.|
Battery-electric coming in 2020
Featuring a curb-level ramp requiring minimal operator support, the coach allows passengers with mobility devices to board through a mid-coach door that opens directly into a same-level, patent-pending low floor entry (LE) vestibule. The vestibule offers passenger seating, including for those using mobility devices, plus companion seating, and amenities including power outlet access.
The coach offers the manual Q’Straint wheelchair securement system as standard and the automated Quantum securement system as on option for the rear-facing position on the right of the vestibule.
Since its unveiling in fall 2017, the MCI D45 CRT LE has joined public transit fleets and the private commuter service of a Silicon Valley giant. Georgia’s State Road and Tollway Authority (SRTA), which manages the Xpress mobility and public transportation operations throughout the 12 counties surrounding metropolitan Atlanta, is the latest public transit system to place an order for the all-accessible MCI D45 CRT LE Commuter Coach.
Find out more about the 2019 NCIL Annual Conference on Independent Living.
For more on the MCI D45 CRT LE, visit Future-of-Commuting.com.
About the National Council on Independent Living
The National Council on Independent Living is the longest-running national cross-disability, grassroots organization run by and for people with disabilities. Founded in 1982, NCIL represents thousands of organizations and individuals including: individuals with disabilities, Centers for Independent Living (CILs), Statewide Independent Living Councils (SILCs), and other organizations that advocate for the human and civil rights of people with disabilities throughout the United States.
With over 8,900 team members operating from more than 50 facilities across ten countries, NFI is a leading independent global bus manufacturer providing a comprehensive suite of mass transportation solutions under brands: New Flyer® (heavy-duty transit buses), Alexander Dennis Limited (single and double-deck buses), Plaxton (motor coaches), MCI® (motor coaches), ARBOC® (low-floor cutaway and medium-duty buses), and NFI Parts™. NFI buses and motor coaches incorporate the widest range of drive systems available including: clean diesel, natural gas, diesel-electric hybrid, and zero-emission electric (trolley, battery, and fuel cell). In total, NFI now supports over 105,000 buses and coaches currently in service around the world. NFI common shares are traded on the Toronto Stock Exchange under the symbol NFI. News and information are available at www.nfigroup.com, www.newflyer.com, www.mcicoach.com, www.arbocsv.com, www.alexander-dennis.com, and nfi.parts.
Motor Coach Industries (MCI) is North America’s public and private market motor coach leader, building the J4500 (the industry best-seller for 13 consecutive years), the all-new 35-foot J3500 J3500 model, model, and the workhorse D-Series including the breakthrough ADA-accessible D45 CRT LE Commuter Coach offering lower dwell times. MCI will add battery-electric propulsion in 2020. With nearly 30,000 MCI coaches on the road, MCI also provides maintenance, repair, 24-hour roadside assistance, parts supply through NFI Parts, and technician training through the industry’s only Automotive Service Excellence (ASE) accredited MCI Academy.
In The News
MCI Leads Alberta’s First Zero-Emission Motorcoach Demonstration
In The News
MCI launches its new D series and unveils battery-electric zero-emission commuter coach: the D45 CRT LE CHARGE™
In The News
NFI group: the fourth e-bus launch in 2021. MCI unveils the electric commuter coach D45 CRT LE CHARGE