For many people, getting around can be limited to the type of transportation that is available to fit their needs. Most people think of a wheelchair van when it comes to accessible vehicles, however there is a new product available that is changing the way people see and experience accessible transportation. It is called the MV-1. At BLVD, we continue to find more solutions for the mobility community and I had the privilege of speaking with Scott Gibson, Regional Sales Manager for Midwest Transit Equipment, who shared more about how the MV-1 is making its mark.
Having been in business for 40 years, Midwest Transit Equipment is well known for their customer service and quality vehicles including the MV-1. Midwest Transit Equipment has partnered with Mobility Ventures who manufactures the MV-1 which is the only vehicle designed and built specifically to be a wheelchair accessible vehicle. There is no conversion to this vehicle meaning it is built from the beginning with three main components: the body, chassis, and ramp. All other accessible vehicles are converted or adapted to be wheelchair friendly after it is manufactured. Described by Mobility Ventures, the MV-1 is “a street-ready, spacious, great-driving, great-looking vehicle that is easy to operate, easy to enter and exit and meets or exceeds the guidelines of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) the moment it rolls off the assembly line. It is the one vehicle on the road designed and built for accessibility, from the ground up”. Needless to say, the MV-1 is a game changer for the mobility industry.
People like options and the MV-1 is a great alternative to the standard accessible vehicle. If a van is too big or a car is too small, the MV-1 may just be for you. Size-wise, it is comparable to a standard minivan and looks similar to a London taxi giving it a cool, Euro-feel. All MV-1 vehicles are manufactured in the former Hummer plant in Indiana and over 80% of the vehicle parts are made in America. The frame is derived from a modified Hummer chassis so the build is very durable. There are many attractive features of the MV-1 including the ability for the wheelchair user to sit in the front passenger seat. For many who have always had to load into the back of a vehicle, this gives the MV-1 an edge over its competition and the wheelchair user a new perspective in their transportation, literally. Fitted with a Q-Straint Tie Down system, the MV-1 allows the wheelchair user to simply roll into place and is locked securely at four points with a self-ratcheting system. If the wheelchair user has the ability to transfer to the OEM driver seat, hand controls or a B&D seat can be added to allow for him or her to drive the vehicle.
The ramp in the MV-1 that is deployed to load and unload the wheelchair user is stowed inside its own protected area between the floor and the vehicle undercarriage thus keeping it free of debris, snow, slush, and grime. This is a huge upgrade than many other ramp options which require continued maintenance and service. It also keeps the ride quieter because it has been designed to reduce the noise of the stowed ramp during travel. The ramp is deployed on the driver side and comes in either a manual or power option. The Manual In-floor Ramp has one deployment length of 1:4.1 slope and comes standard in the SE model. The Power In-floor Ramp has two deployment lengths, either 1:4.4 slope or 1:6 slope, and are only available in the DX or LX models. All lengths meet the ADA/CSA D402-02 guidelines. Another thing to keep in mind is that with the longer deployment, the slope is gradual so a vehicle kneeling system is not needed therefore the additional service of that type of feature is eliminated. Furthermore, the maneuverability of pushing someone up the ramp is that much easier making it safer and more enjoyable for your loved ones or caregivers.
Midwest Transit Equipment works with each client to make sure the vehicle will fit their every need. A great tool that they offer is through the MV-1 website where you can build your own MV-1 so when you come into the dealership or talk with a sales team member, you have additional knowledge about the product and how it would fit into your lifestyle. You will be able to select everything from the model, color, wheel size, and other additional features such as navigation, DVD, Bluetooth capability and more. You can contact the sales team at Midwest Transit Equipment who are very happy to help answer any questions you may have. You may also be surprised to learn that the MV-1 is an affordable option compared to many other accessible vehicles and conversions with a MSRP in the mid to high $50,000’s. Midwest Transit Equipment has specially priced New 2014 MV-1’s under $37,000 depending on model selection. The sales team at Midwest Transit Equipment is also committed to helping each client learn more about cost savings measures like medical discounts and tax exemptions. For example, they had a client in Michigan who was able to only pay sales tax on the non-medical portion of the MV-1 and in this case that was only $3,000. This is just one of the many examples their team shared on how they go above and beyond to help their customers out!
When I asked Scott Gibson, Regional Sales Manager of Midwest Transit Equipment, where I should direct interested readers to he didn’t hesitate and stated, “Have them call me! I love talking with people about how the MV-1 can fit into their life.” His enthusiasm for customer service and most of all for listening to each and every story that people have is inspiring. So if you want to learn more, contact Scott directly at 708-269-1894. You can also contact the main office toll free at 800-933-2412 or visit their website: www.midwesttransit.com.
You can tell that Midwest Transit Equipment is a company that really cares about making a difference. And what better way to see that in action with this special video of one lucky little girl, Ava, who just got a new MV-1. We hope you see how the MV-1 and Midwest Transit Equipment can change your life, too!
(Embedded video of Ava and her MV-1)
*Video used with permission from Midwest Transit Equipment