A bus with a toilet that meets all the requirements for people with disabilities. This is an investment that the Norwegian travel agency Freedom Express has never regretted.
The equipment offers guests peace of mind, and suddenly otherwise remote destinations are within reach. It is a solution with dignity, says a Danish passenger, who has been on long journeys several times.
Peace of mind! This is the clear advantage for users
of the specially adapted bus, which the Norwegian bus company Freedom Express has invested in. There are other buses fitted with lifts and spaces for wheelchairs. But this sets itself apart in one very important respect: the toilet and bathroom are fitted with Pressalit Care’s equipment for people with disabilities.
Space for a wheelchair and a caregiver
“For users of the bus, these conditions are synonymous with peace of mind,” says Christer Aarseth, General Manager of Freedom Express who is also a bus driver. “The toilet and bathroom cover all the needs you might have. Everything can be adjusted electrically, there is an adult changing table and dedicated heating control.
Throughout the bus, there are rails for hoisting mounted on the ceiling, despite the low ceiling height. And the rails also cover all the walls of the toilet. The fittings allow users to manage by themselves, but there is plenty of room for both a wheelchair and a caregiver if required. The door is also 100 cm wide,” explains Christer Aarseth.
A new world opens up
The facilities in the bus mean that people with disabilities can now also go on longer journeys without worrying whether there are suitable toilet facilities.
“It is always touching to hear disabled people tell us that our bus is the reason why they now feel they can go on holiday, because they know that we have a toilet and a bathroom that they can use,” says Christer Aarseth. The Danish wheelchair user, Ulla Trøjmer, who has travelled with Freedom Express several times on long journeys, shares this sentiment:
“This bus means that you can go to the toilet without losing your dignity. It is a very well thought-out and well functioning solution,” says Ulla Trøjmer.
The excellent facilities are included
Between April and October the bus is on the road every day.
“Our toilet facilities are important in all contexts. We get there faster because we do not need to find disabled toilets along the way. And if we are working for a company taking people to a festival, trade fair or somewhere else where it can be hard to find a suitable toilet, it is reassuring for our passengers to know that we have the equipment onboard,” says Christer Aarseth.
“The excellent facilities on Freedom Express are entirely different from other bus companies. We get a lot of new customers because they have heard from others who have travelled with us that we have just the nicest toilet. The bus has been operating for ten years, and Christer Aarseth is very impressed with the quality of the equip- ment that Pressalit Care has supplied: “It wasn’t really designed to be in a bus that is constantly in motion, and where there may be wide temperature fluctuations. But it just works. All equipment is the same as ten years ago, and the bathroom and toilet are still in a very good condition.
Christer Aarseth is certain that when Freedom Express one day acquires a new bus, the toilet facilities will be one of the most important things to plan. And he hopes that the excellent cooperation with Pressalit Care and the Norwegian dealer, Funksjonsutstyr, can continue when that time comes.
A very dignified solution for users
Ulla Trøjmer, Tour Guide at the Danish Association of the Physically Disabled in Gladsaxe, has travelled several times with Freedom Express to Hungary, the Netherlands and southern Germany, among other destinations. She is a wheelchair user herself and very enthusiastic about the freedom that the purpose-built bus allows for:
“It’s a matter of dignity. In a bus with a typical toilet you have to sit with the door open. Who wants to do that? That has deterred many people with disabilities from travelling. This is a very dignified solution.
You can easily get in with your wheelchair. There is also plenty of room for a caregiver, but if you can manage by yourself, you can adjust the height of both the toilet and the wash basin to suit.