A variety of vehicle formats are used in the Accessible Services sector. Any given employer may have several differently formatted busses. It is imperative that Bus Operators are familiar with the performance limitations of their assigned vehicle. This familiarity with performance specifications and limitations extends to the functional and performance characteristics of lift mechanisms and tie down security devices etc.
"But they all do the same thing. Right?"
"Well, yes and no. Today, Urban Transit busses are more often equipped with lifts and/or ramps and School busses almost always. Even Intercity coach is equipping with these devices. However, due to the profound needs of some passengers, some Accessible Services vehicles may be formatted with devices that have operating and performance features that others don't."
Knowledge and familiarity with the dimensions of the vehicle and its turning radius is necessary as a basis for being able to safely manoeuvre the vehicle. Safe and effective vehicle manoeuvring are fundamental to providing clear and safe access to the lift when loading and discharging passengers. This knowledge and familiarity will also impact the Bus Operator's to ability to effectively judge distances through the mirror system when positioning the vehicle to obtain the required amount of space for full travel of lifts and ramps.
"But how is this different than any other bus or coach?"
"Good question. The answer would be that Accessible Services Bus Operators are often called upon to safely back up and manoeuvre the vehicle into narrow areas e.g. private lanes and garage driveways, etc. Other sectors would not normally do this. Knowing and being able to execute a variety of backing-up techniques is an important skill set in this sector."