New Flyer unveils SmartRider™ advanced bus kneel and smart leveling

New technology offers optimized boarding and features New Flyer’s first all-electric ramp

New Flyer Industries Canada ULC (“New Flyer”), a subsidiary of NFI Group Inc. (“NFI”), the largest transit bus and motor coach manufacturer in North America, today announced the unveiling of SmartRider™ technology – an industry first in fully-accessible level boarding from curb to aisle – on the Xcelsior® heavy-duty transit bus platform.

SmartRider™ is an advanced smart leveling system developed by New Flyer, providing unmatched accessibility using intelligent kneeling with variable height capability to minimize slope difference between a low-floor ramp and the bus floor. SmartRider™ uses intelligent technology to kneel and automatically adjust to environmental surroundings, and to offer optimized boarding from the curb to the aisle. It also features New Flyer’s first all-electric wheelchair ramp with a two-degree slope, higher load carrying capability, and an optimized undercarriage for better control and accessibility.

Buses equipped with SmartRider™ can monitor pressure at each wheel enabling faster diagnosis, while also offering advanced chassis control with optimized air consumption. Overall, the system enhances stability, ride, and handling of low-floor transit buses on uneven road surfaces.

The unveiling and exclusive demonstrations will occur at the Canadian Urban Transit Association (“CUTA”) Annual Conference and Canadian Transit Show November 18-21 in Toronto.

“New Flyer’s SmartRider system is a breakthrough in public transit accessibility,” said Chris Stoddart, Senior Vice President, Engineering and Customer Service. “New Flyer has led the innovation of low-floor accessibility for decades, and with the introduction of SmartRider, we continue advancing technology in public transit and are proud to offer North America’s most accessible transit bus.”

New Flyer anticipates SmartRider™ to be available for production on Xcelsior heavy-duty transit buses mid-2019.

The unveiling of SmartRider™ follows on MCI’s 2017 introduction of the new D45 CRT LE, a fully-accessible commuter coach featuring a low-entry vestibule and a low-floor technology designed by MCI and BMW subsidiary, Designworks, which removes the need for a lift and delivers unmatched accessibility for passengers with mobility needs. Since the signing of the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 (“ADA”), transit operators have worked to provide accessible vehicles. New Flyer was the first North American manufacturer to offer low-floor buses in 1988, preceding the ADA.

NFI is the only provider of full suite bus solutions in North America, offering transit, motor coach, and low-floor cutaway buses, and in 2018, became the first bus manufacturer in the world to sign on to the Shared Mobility Principles for Livable Cities.