Up until a few years ago transportation for those in wheelchairs was limited at best. The occupants of wheelchairs were sentenced to lives of seclusion. There was little thought put into the field of handicapped transportation. The movement of individuals in wheelchairs consisted mainly of removing them from their chair and loading them into standard vehicle.
The use of power wheelchairs and power scooters has quadrupled in past fifteen years. But this is not enough, because these means of transport are limited in terms of speed, safety, comfort, and range. For them, using these power scooters/power wheelchairs it is the equivalent for walking. And we know that sometimes, walking is not enough. Their quality of life requires activity and social mixture. So they need a very good vehicle. Nothing less will be acceptable.
The wheelchair van conversion companies have developed minivan conversions that allow wheelchair entry in the side and rear. Most of the conversions are automated and consist of button pushing activation.
Up until a few years ago many of the large metropolitan cities had few options when it came to transporting the physically challenged. Those in wheelchairs were pretty much on their own when it came to getting around the big city. It became obvious to many city administrators and officials that a change was required for specialized transportation.
The local government agencies could see that taxi cabs with wheelchair accessibility were needed. The city of New York and the City of Houston lead the way in the incorporation of wheelchair accessible cabs into existing fleets. Many hurdles had to be cleared. There was testing done to secure the best equipment for the job. The use of converted vehicles on the rough city streets would put many types of wheelchair cabs to the test. There were very few vehicles tough enough to take on the monumental task.
The rear entry wheelchair van conversion has prevailed as the winner. The rear entry van held up better through the rigors of testing due to the fact that the frame was not cut. The frame requires cutting and rebuilding on the side entry. This leaves question to the structural integrity of the side entry van over an extended amount of time and miles. There are also better seating options in the rear entry van for the taxi cab industry. The mid row seats allow for the transportation of three other people plus the wheelchair occupant. You can feel safe in a cab that is wheelchair accessible. They have been crash tested and are ready to serve the people that now require specialized treatment.
So, it looks like this problem is solved…
Enjoy some pictures of a wheelchair accessible Chrysler Town & Country made by the guys from ams vans.