Minibus: A Short Analysis
While mini-vans tend to cap out at eight passengers, a minibus can increase seating capacity to up to 14 people and provide benefits that are often found in a larger bus. More important than capacity is the diversity that is encompassed by the minibus.
Minibuses have a center aisle which helps maintain order during loading and unloading of passengers. Being able to stand upright makes passengers far more comfortable waiting while other passengers get settled. Beyond the center aisle is also the flexibility of how the seats are arranged. For example, in the Starcraft Xpress seating capacities range from 10 to 15 people dependent on wheelchair access. Seats can all be forward facing or can be all placed on the perimeter of the vehicle.
Depending on the brand and design a bus, many come equipped with amenities such as luggage racks, wheelchair lifts, and reading lights. These extras are often not available on passenger vans. A great example of paying attention to passenger comfort is shown by the ElDorado Aerolite, which comes with an additional six inches more headroom than an traditional passenger van. There is no need to look for a large bus for these offerings when they are available in a smaller vehicle.
With a capacity of 15 or fewer passengers, a Commercial Driver’s License is likely notrequired to drive these vehicles in many states. In California, a Commercial Driver’s license is required for vehicles with a seating capacity of 10, though. This opens up the idea of various minibuses to far more groups and needs, as well, so that more people are able to drive these vehicles without special licensing from the state. The driver’s station in the Champion Crusader, for example, would not overwhelm any experienced driver of a mini-van.
While other options for transporting a group might include a caravan of cars or minivans, a single minibus that could carry all of those passengers is a better option for the environment as well. Decreasing the number of vehicles used to make a trip, be it short or long, will help to decrease emission rates as well as the potential for a split caravan and a group that is missing half of their participants.
All in all, the options of a minibus are numerous, both from cost and style perspectives, which mean that they should be considered for any group, school, or business who needs a larger capacity than a mini-van. Whether the group is looking for additional comfort of their passengers, might need the additional benefits of wheelchair lifts or various seating arrangements, or is simply looking for a way to find a more flexible solution to their transportation needs, the diversity of minibuses should be considered when deciding what the best transportation solution might be for them. Minivans, passenger vans, and full sized buses all have an important place in the transportation industry, but so do minibuses.