Commercial clients purchasing the Transit Connects are drawn by its lower price point and its EPA rated 22 mpg city and 25 mpg highway fuel efficiency. The Transit Connect Mobility Van line for MobilityWorks, launched earlier in the year, is also helping to create jobs. “We’ve added 20 new jobs so far this year and orders continue to grow for all of our lines” said Denny Summers, Vice President of Operations. In the past, wheelchair transportation companies mainly purchased full-size, raised-roof vans equipped with a wheelchair lift. The smaller rear entry handicap van with a fold-out ramp provides a lower cost option with less maintenance and lower operating expenses for fuel.
Ever since its debut, the van has drawn significant interest from both the commercial and consumer markets. “We’ve been getting inquiries almost every day from people wanting to know more about the Ford Transit Connect” according to Guy Hanford, Director of Marketing for the company. “They’re on the way.” The company has six of the new consumer designed Transit Connect vans rolling out to their showroom stores this week, with more coming soon. The brand new 2010 Ford Transit Connect vans are being modified at the company’s Wilbeth Road production facility in Akron, OH. MobilityWorks developed the Transit Connect Mobility Van in conjunction with Ford and the Mobility Alliance.
According to the company, the Transit Connect consumer model adds a few more aesthetic features and trim options, otherwise it’s the same conversion as the commercial model with its rear-entry manual folding ramp, forward folding rear bench seat and wheelchair tie-down system. “We’re really looking forward to getting these in our showrooms so people can see if it will work with their wheelchair (or scooter) and lifestyle” said Summers. “It’s not a van for everyone, but for some people, it may be just what they were looking for – especially the gas mileage.”
The company prides itself on fitting the person and their chair with the right type of vehicle. They caution that consumers should spend a lot of time entering and exiting a wheelchair van before purchasing an adaptive vehicle. “We hear a lot of horror stories about people buying vans online without actually trying them out first. That’s why we have showrooms and certified mobility consultants that people can actually meet with” said Hanford.
MobilityWorks also installs hand controls for handicapped drivers who have gone through driver assessment training, wheelchair lifts and scooter lifts for minivans, trucks and SUVS. The Inc 5000 company has 13 consumer locations in seven states throughout the USA. They are also Ford Motor Company’s largest ‘upfitter’ of mobility vans, primarily making modifications to the E-Series full size vans for commercial fleet use.
Go to www.mobilityworks.com for additional information.