Recently, the Quad-Cities MetroLINK installed the Quantum Securement System (QSS) by Q’Straint in order to better accommodate people using wheelchairs and scooters on public transit. This is important, since public transportation is used regularly by 61% of wheelchair users, according to the Association for the Advancement of Automotive Medicine. While the system is only still being tested for positive feedback, it is safe to say that more buses will be outfitted with the inclusive machinery in the future.
This comes as good news to anyone who takes advantage of public transit, since the QSS takes less than 30 seconds to secure any wheelchair or scooter, as opposed to several minutes of fumbling with restraints which may lead to frustrated passengers looking for efficient, speedy transportation. More importantly, this type of action moves to offer people with differing abilities a far more pleasant experience with public transportation, a concept that MetroLINK obviously values.
Safety of passengers should be addressed as the number one concern of mass transportation, and is most certainly a responsibility for MetroLINK. According to the Journal of Rehabilitation Research and Development, 94% of all injuries to wheelchair passengers are from tipping and falling out during normal vehicle maneuvers, which means these injuries are preventable.
The Director of Product and Marketing for Q’Straint, Patrick Girardin, notes that the main goal of his company is to “maximize safety for wheelchair passengers.” Thanks to the QSS, people who use wheelchairs and scooters no longer have to worry about their equipment throwing them onto the bus floor while the driver makes a sharp turn; their equipment is now able to be securely fastened to the frame of the bus.
Another consideration of MetroLINK is creating an inclusive environment for anyone using its services. Transportation is a big part of the integration of differently-abled persons into society, according to Jim Franklin, a member of the Action Committee of People with Disabilities. Convenience offers the ability to be a regular customer.
The QSS is convenient by working simply at the touch of a button. Wheelchair passengers no longer need to rely on the driver or other operator to secure their equipment manually. They get themselves on the bus, they get themselves in their space, and then they push the button; simple as that. Kevin Bunce, Assistant Director of Maintenance for Q’Straint, says, “We give [the disabled community] the independence they are looking for.”
The first installation of the QSS in the MetroLINK is a step in the right direction for the safety and convenience of public transportation. By accepting the QSS prototype donation, the MetroLINK is demonstrating their acceptance of people with disabilities and their willingness to cooperate as a face of change for public transportation everywhere.
People who need to use wheelchairs and scooters can rest assured that the Quad-Cities MetroLINK cares about not only their physical safety, but also their overall wellbeing; an inclusive environment is conducive to a relaxed atmosphere and happy people, and MetroLINK recognizes that by testing developing technologies.