Poncho provides accessibility

Photography by: Supplied (Hino Australia)


Hino’s upcoming small low-floor is wheelchair accessible with ramp and kerb-kneeling

Poncho provides accessibility
The Poncho is DDA compliant and is said to be ahead of the pack in accessibility

The Poncho, Hino’s mini-bus which is soon to be released in Australia, has been heralded a community accessibility solution by Hino Australia.

The bus will be fully compliant with the Disability Discrimination Act 1992 (DDA) through its easy wheelchair access.

A portable wheelchair ramp, as well as an "ultra-low floor design" and a kerb-kneeling function make the poncho accessible for all passengers.

Hino Australia product strategy manager Daniel Petrovski says the bus is ahead of others on the market when it comes to accessibility.

"The Poncho is already Australian DDA-compliant, meaning customers will have the assurance of a product that is ready ahead of the Act being mandated in 2022," he says.

"Wheelchair boarding can take less than a minute, including time to both deploy and store the on-board ramp.

"Traditional small bus wheelchair access can take up to 20 minutes."

Hino Australia has confirmed it will be the first distributor outside of Japan to offer the bus when it arrives in early 2017.

"The Poncho is our solution for short suburban and city routes, and we predict this product will be popular in the community transport market," Petrovski says.

The Poncho will be launched at the 2016 Australian Bus and Coach Show in Sydney, giving potential customers an advance chance to see it in the metal.

In the 2013 announcement of the Poncho’s planned arrival in Australia, Hino national sales manager Kevin Fielding said the Poncho would make a good alternative for anyone who doesn’t need a full-sized bus.

"Its long wheelbase and short overhangs are an ideal basis for a low-floor, nimble bus that doesn't sacrifice stability or passenger comfort in the name of manoeuvrability," Fielding said.

Electric Ponchos already operate in Japan, meaning the potential for green transport is ripe with the new addition to Australia’s bus market.

 

PONCHO STATS:

Dimensions

Overall length 6,990mm

Overall width 2,080mm

Overall height 3,100mm

Wheelbase 4,825mm

Drivetrain

Engine Hino J05E-TS (Euro 5) Direct-injected diesel, turbo-charged intercooled, 4-cylinder, overhead camshaft, water-cooled

Transmission 5-Speed automatic with overdrive

Power 180hp at 2,500rpm

Torque 530Nm at 1,500rpm

 

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