Newly ordered Metro buses will come equipped with Q'POD

A rendering of how new wheelchair areas will be marked.

A rendering of how new wheelchair areas will be marked.

Metro currently boards more than 80,000 wheelchair passengers a month, and the new CNG New Flyer buses Metro has ordered will make getting around on Metro Bus even easier and safer for wheelchair riders. The new buses will come with two Q’PODs, a three-point securement system which makes securing front-facing wheelchairs easier. This will hopefully encourage more wheelchair passengers to choose securement when riding.

For those who prefer otherwise, the new buses will also offer 2 rear-facing wheelchair positions that will allow wheelchair passengers to ride safely without securement. Metro will be the first transportation agency in the nation to offer 2 rear-facing wheelchair areas on buses. These new buses will begin entering service early next year.

Here’s the press release from Q’Straint, maker of the Q’POD:

Q’Straint’s award-winning Q’POD, the first fully integrated wheelchair securement station specifically designed and tested for transit wheelchair passenger transportation, will be installed in the 550 new Xcelsior™ 40-foot heavy-duty compressed natural gas (“CNG”) buses recently ordered by the Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority (“Metro”).

“We have set the high standards for safety, performance, reliability and convenience when it comes to serving the residents of our community,” said Richard Hunt, General Manager, Transit Capital Programs for L.A. Metro. “By installing two Q’PODs on each of these new buses, we are offering our mobility riders a safe, secure and convenient way to ride that keeps everyone moving at full speed.”

Q′POD secures virtually all styles of wheelchairs with a simplified operation that allows for quicker securement times and reduced vehicle dwell time. It is the first complete wheelchair station that can be simply bolted into the vehicle and an integrated shoulder belt eliminates the need for window brackets. Q’POD’s stabilizing bumper, in combination with the front tensioner and scooter ring, deliver an ADA approved 3-point securement that eliminates a trip hazard.

According to members of the L.A. Metro training staff, the three point Q’POD with its placement of wheelchair securement straps, self-tightening features and the efficient placement of the occupant restraint system makes use of the securement system so much easier for the operator.  “Our instructors consistently said that the Q’POD system was easier and faster to use, placed less stress on the operator’s body and was less intrusive with the customer,” said Hunt.

About Q’Straint:

For over 25 years, Q’Straint has remained focused on one mission:  To develop the most innovative solutions that advance the safety and effectiveness of wheelchair passenger travel. Our reputation as a global leader is the result of making transportation safety and customer needs the highest priority. We are committed to continued product leadership and innovation; we have the most exhaustive and comprehensive research and testing programs; and for more than two decades have played a key role in developing regional and international safety standards. Today, our diverse global staff serves customers in more than 50 countries throughout North and South America, Europe, Australasia, Asia, the Middle East and Africa. For more information visit QStraint.com. Become a Q’Straint friend on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/QStraint and follow us on Twitter at https://twitter.com/qstraint.

6 replies

  1. I dont belive its safe for a wheelchair customer to get tied down, if there was to be an accident, everyone in the bus has the same chances of getting hurt being in a wheelchair or not, what if theres a fire in the bus and the wheelchair customer is tied down?

  2. The reason wheelchair patrons are secured is they tend to be thrown around as the bus navigates the streets in and out of stops even if the wheelchair brakes are set.

    • Hi Mike,

      It boils down to the cost at this time. Metro can now purchase 2 40-foot buses for every 45-foot bus – so while the 45-foot bus can seat a few extra people, purchasing 40-foot buses means more buses in service, meaning more frequent (and better) service can be achieved.

      Anna Chen
      The Source, Writer

  3. Just a reminder, opting for wheelchair securement is totally at the discretion of the passenger. They don’t have to choose securement. The new buses will also offer 2 rear-facing wheelchair areas, which are safe for wheelchair riders to use without securement.

    Anna Chen
    The Source, Writer