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Low floor is a term used in association with accesability & disabled accesx to vehicles and buildings.

See also: Low-floor bus and Low-floor tram

A significant development in transportation, and public transport in particular, to achieve accessibility, is the move to "low-floor" vehicles. In a low-floor vehicle, access to part or all of the passenger cabin is unobstructed from one or more entrances by the presence of steps, enabling easier access for the infirm or people with push chairs. A further aspect may be that the entrance and corridors are wide enough to accommodate a wheelchair. Low-floor vehicles have been developed for buses, trolleybuses and trams.

A low floor in the vehicular sense is normally combined in a conceptual meaning with normal pedestrian access from a standard kerb height. However, the accessibility of a low-floor vehicle can also be utilised from slightly raising portions of kerb at bus stops, or through use of level boarding bus rapid transit 'stations' or tram stops. The combination of access from a kerb was the technological development of the 1990s, as step-free interior layouts for buses had existed in some cases for decades, with entrance steps being introduced as chassis designs and overall height regulations changed.

Low-floor buses may also be designed with special height adjustment controls that permit a stationary bus to temporarily lower itself to ground level, permitting wheelchair access. This is referred to as a kneeling bus.

At rapid transit systems, vehicles generally have floors in the same height as the platforms but the stations are often underground or elevated, so accessibility there isn't a question of providing low-floor vehicles, but providing a step-free access from street level to the platforms (generally by elevators, which are somewhere restricted to disabled passengers only, so that the step-free access isn't obstructed by healthy people taking advantage).


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