Once on board, all minibus passengers will be accommodated either in a seat or in their wheelchair, the latter in a space with a relative safety restraint. This section outlines the basic specifications for seats and wheelchairs alike, as well as the myriad options on offer to improve comfort, accessibility, aesthetics and safety. It also outlines considerations for the storage of passenger belongings during transit.
On a minibus, a standard seat is considered to be of a semi-high back design with a lap and diagonal belt, consisting of a minimum of a 400mm wide cushion and trimmed in a basic cloth or vinyl.
Each of these areas may be improved upon: seats can be fitted with a headrest or high-back; headrests can incorporate grab handles; all age belts can be specified; cushions can have increased widths; materials can be upgraded to moquette or leather; the cab can be trimmed to match.
In addition to these options, seats may be fixed, removable, of a tip and fold design or have folding cushions.
Removable seats would normally be considered for wheelchair provision or where a flexible load space is needed. Tip & Fold seats create space without the need to physically remove a seat from the vehicle, usually to provide space for wheelchairs.
Folding cushions may be included either to improve access or to provide space for stowage.
At a basic level, wheelchair provision consists of space; a wheelchair restraint; an occupant restraint; and stowage for restraints when these are not in use.
In addition to accommodation for passengers, their belongings also need to be provided with a space to be stored or restrained for the journey.
The type of storage needed will depend on the load being carried. On a minibus, space is at a premium, however when carefully considered features can be included to accommodate belongings. These features include: an over cab shelf; luggage racks; a luggage pen; surface rail and straps; oxygen bottle holders.
Requirements for stowage space are determined by the purpose of the trip and the type of passengers being carried.
Please remember that added stowage space means added weight. Make sure this is taken into account when deciding on the most suitable base vehicle.