QUANTUM & Q’POD Case Study: Working together to Revolutionize Accessibility with MATBUS
This past May, Q’STRAINT had the honor of joining forces with MATBUS to analyze the benefits of dual wheelchair securement with QUANTUM and Q’POD. MATBUS, a pioneer in the industry, is showing us how top transit agencies are working to revolutionize accessibility in their community while giving local mobility riders the decision of rear-facing or forward-facing wheelchair securement stations.
The process started with a plan to develop a field test for dual wheelchair securement in conjunction with BusRide Magazine. We knew MATBUS would be the perfect choice for the study.
“MATBUS has always been a great Q’STRAINT customer, in both paratransit and transit. They’ve always been very sensitive to their ridership and Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) provisions.”
-Mike Laidlaw, senior sales manager at Q’STRAINT
MATBUS, partnering with New Flyer on a new bus project, began looking into the QUANTUM and Q’POD after seeing the products at the 2014 APTA Expo.
Opposed to retrofitting older model buses, it was decided to install the QUANTUM and Q’POD on new buses in the growing fleet. This gave MATBUS an ideal layout for the dual wheelchair securement stations.
“These products — especially the QUANTUM — were just hitting the market at the time we conducted our research. We were very excited about it so we designed both the QUANTUM and the Q’POD into our two newest buses.”
-Juile Bommelman, Transit Director for the city of Fargo, ND
Feedback and Benefits
One benefit of having dual wheelchair securement stations is that it gives the riders a choice in the way they travel. While both stations safety secure a chair riders may have a preference when it comes to forward or rear-facing stations.
What we discovered was that while hesitant about a rear-facing securement system, most riders, after trying the system were excited about how much independence the QUANTUM provided them. The QUANTUM allows the rider to secure themselves at the push of a button with minimal driver interference in under 25 seconds.
“It’s that sense of independence that they want, and they feel it when they secure themselves stably in QUANTUM’s mechanical arm. Riders have really taken to the system,” said Bommelman. The Q’POD also proved to improve rider independence with a student at North Dakota State University.
“I witnessed Q’POD in service at the North Dakota State University campus, with a student who uses the MATBUS service every day. There was no need to lean over the passenger as drivers help secure the device. It’s easy to tighten and retract, both of which make the rider and driver experience more enjoyable.”
-Lori Van Beek, transit manager for the City of Moorhead, MN
The QUANTUM and Q’POD both not only improve rider experience but also driver experience as Matthew Petterson, Assistant Transit Director for Fargo points out. “With both Q’STRAINT products, all securements are easily accessible no matter what kind of device is being secured,” he says. “It really is a big improvement, and makes a tremendous difference for everyone involved.”
Less time is spent looking for proper straps and figuring out proper securement points, which reduces dwell time and keeps everyone on schedule.
For the Future
Q’STRAINT looks forward to continuing its partnership with MATBUS in the future. It is anticipated that more transit agencies jump on board and follow the lead in making public transportation safe, comfortable and accessible to everyone.
“The public transit industry, in many cases, can be a bit slow to change,” Laidlaw says. “Being a pioneer takes courage. MATBUS proved they not only lead the way in U.S. transit, but also in making the journey easier for passengers who really need it.”
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