‘SOCIAL INCLUSION’ BENEFIT VIA NEW WHEELCHAIR-FRIENDLY BUS

By: Fabian Cotter, Photography by: courtesy Volvo Bus Australia


COWRA SCHOOL STUDENTS and the general public will now benefit from a new TfNSW-funded DDA-compliant bus after Volvo Bus Australia delivered its first low-floor unit to a local operator recently, the company reports.

‘SOCIAL INCLUSION’ BENEFIT VIA NEW WHEELCHAIR-FRIENDLY BUS
“We are again thrilled that we could deliver on our promise of value and quality when supplying the Volvo B8LRE to the Cowra Bus Service," said Volvo Bus Australia Regional Sales manager for NSW, Stuart Woodward.

Featuring fully accessible wheelchair-friendly spaces – crucially allowing wheelchair-reliant students to travel with their friends to feel more 'socially included' – the B8RLE school bus is now an additional mode of transport for the area, and was handed over to new owner Cowra Bus Services.

According to Volvo, the bus is scheduled to provide morning and afternoon transport to and from school for Cowra Students and will also offer a town transport service to the public throughout the day. These services are being fully funded by Transport for NSW (TfNSW) and will provide additional transport freedoms to Cowra-based students and the general public, it says.

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TIME SAVED

The newly purchased B8RLE will be of significant value to the Saxby family - in particular for brother and sister, Justin and Sophie - who are Cowra High School students relying on wheelchair-friendly modes of transport.

Until now, Justin and Sophie relied on their mother, Cindy, to transport them to and from school in their family car - which took about 30 minutes each way, they say.

With the addition of Cowra Bus Services’ new DDA-compliant B8RLE, this will eliminate the need for this, as the students can now enjoy a wheelchair-friendly bus ride to school next to their friends, without the need to leave their wheelchairs, explains Volvo.

Sophie, 12, is very eager to start catching the bus to school, she says.

"I’m so happy that I get to go to school with my friends now," Sophie explained.

"While I am in my chair, they can sit facing me and we can spend more time together. I can now also go on all the excursions with them, too!" she added.

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POSITIVE IMPACT

Cindy Saxby says the new Volvo B8RLE will improve social inclusion for her children, as they will now be able to travel to and from school just like their friends. The positive impact the B8RLE will have on the Saxby family, Cowra High School students and the wider community makes Volvo Bus Australia delighted to have played a part in it, the company says.

"We are really proud to have this new Volvo bus that will not only make school trips and commuting more accessible, but will also give those who are reliant on a wheelchair more autonomy when travelling," said Jeff Brown, manager at Cowra Bus Services.

"After having several Volvo buses in the fleet for years now, we knew the Volvo B8RLE was the right choice for us.

"It’s a superior product, and we have local support with a dealer in town," he added.

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COMMUNITY NEEDS

Volvo Bus Australia Regional Sales manager for NSW Stuart Woodward caught up with Sophie and her family when delivering the brand-new bus in Cowra.

"At Volvo Bus Australia, we have always taken pride in the quality that we are able to continuously deliver to our valued customers," he said.

"We are again thrilled that we could deliver on our promise of value and quality when supplying the Volvo B8LRE to the Cowra Bus Service.

"The team have done a great job in managing the customisation of the B8LRE on a Volgren body to suit the needs of our customer and their community."

As Volvo explains, in addition to providing more accessible public transport to the Cowra community, the new bus will also deliver world-leading fuel efficiency, increased versatility, improved driver performance and versatility, as well as integral after sales support.

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