Ford is working with MobilityWorks Commercial, a national commercial van upfitter, to add wheelchair accessibility to the Transit Connect taxi. The customized van features a rear wheelchair ramp, which helps keep passengers out of traffic, and a short, lowered ramp that’s designed to allow passengers to quickly enter and exit the vehicle.
The FlexFlat ramp is designed to be quick and easy to deploy and also creates a usable deck for cargo when stowed.
The automaker added that the Transit Connect taxi model features an open architecture for ease of upfitting and to provide interior room. Ford moved the taxi model’s rear seat back 3 inches for added passenger comfort. The taxi model also offers 6.5 inches of ground clearance so passengers can easily step into the vehicle and additional climate control ventilation for rear-seat passenger comfort.
Ford stated that MobilityWorks Commercial completed and deployed the first Transit Connect modified for wheelchair access as a New York City taxi earlier this year. The vehicle is in service with McGuinness Management, which operates nearly 50 cabs in Manhattan, according to Ford.
Ford also noted that fuel economy is a feature of the Transit Connect taxi model, which gets 22 mpg city, 27 mpg highway.
“We continue to see exceptional sales for the Transit Connect since its North American launch in 2009,” said Kevin Koswick, Ford’s North American director of fleet, lease and remarketing operations. “The forthcoming introduction of the all-new Transit Connect in 2014 will further expand Ford’s leadership in this segment, offering fleet owners, taxi operators, drivers and passengers additional improvements, refinements and choices.”