Kansas City, MO (November 6, 2006) Kansas City, MO (November 6, 2006) – School officials from around the country will get the first look at a new concept vehicle that could help students get to school faster and easier. IC Corporation, North America's largest school bus manufacturer, is unveiling a new concept bus this week at the National Association for Pupil Transportation (NAPT) Show in Kansas City, Mo.
The concept bus is a derivative of the company's existing BE 200 "small bus" model and features a low floor design and a kneeling suspension feature that provides improved student access to the bus. The front and rear suspensions lower when the door is open, providing a four-inch drop to allow students an easier way to enter and exit the bus. The bus door is outfitted with an ADA-compliant wheelchair ramp instead of a lift, allowing all students, including those with special needs, the ability to enter and exit the bus through the same door.
"This bus provides all students an easier way to board the bus," said Michael Cancelliere, Vice President and General Manager of IC Corporation. "Whether the ramp is engaged or students use the one-step entry, the low-floor design provides students with a much easier way to ride to and from school. Students with wheelchairs or other mobility aid devices can all enter the bus through the same easy-access door."
School officials will be able to speed up the boarding process without sacrificing safety. Engaging the ramp for all students to board is faster than engaging a wheelchair lift, allowing for improved cycle times on routes. The usage of one universal door for both special needs and non special needs students enhances the driver's ability to monitor all children on the bus.
In fact, the bus door is wider than industry standard doors and does not have a stepwell like other buses. The wheelchair ramp is self-stowing, so it takes up less space than a lift and does not require additional padding like many lift designs do.
Because the bus is integrated, the wiring of the system can be programmed to operate according to the school district's specifications. For example, the bus can be programmed to automatically activate lights at the entrance door. As an added feature, the bus can be programmed to allow the door to shut only when the ramp is fully stowed.
"IC Corporation and its dealers understand the challenging needs of school districts nationwide and that's why we've developed this concept bus," said Cancelliere. "With feedback from attendees at the NAPT Show, we will further evaluate if there is enough interest in this concept bus to begin production."
About IC Corporation
IC Corporation, the nation's largest integrated school bus manufacturer, is an affiliate of International Truck and Engine Corporation. International produces school bus chassis, mid-range diesel engines, medium trucks, heavy trucks, severe service vehicles, and is a provider of parts and service sold under the International brand. Both IC and International are affiliates of Navistar International Corporation (NYSE: NAV). Additional information is available site at: www.ic-corp.com.