In many parts of the developing world, achieving level entry into public transport vehicles using low-floor technology is unlikely to be feasible in the near future due to cost and technical constraints. Access solutions which are compatible with high floor vehicles (with floor heights of about 650 to 1000 mm from the ground) include manual and hydraulic lifts, and the use of wayside platforms mounted at the kerb. The wayside platform approach could potentially provide a low-cost method of providing wheelchair access to regular bus fleets at key locations along the route. The paper explores past experience with wayside platforms in universal design systems such Bus Rapid Transit systems in Latin America. Recent tests on operational bus services in Mozambique and South Africa are also described, providing pointers to the operational and cost issues of following this approach. Indications are that there could be a role for wayside solutions in regular bus services operating in mixed traffic, but under specific traffic and demand conditions. Further research and operational testing is needed to assess the benefits and limitations of wayside platforms in actual service.
Venter, C.; Rickert, T.; Mashiri, M.; de Deus, K. Entry into high-floor vehicles using wayside platforms. (2004)