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New safety system for wheelchair users is installed in new MTU buses in La Crosse



Wheelchair users have a new, do-it-yourself way to ride more safely on a city bus.

La Crosse’s MTU has started equipping its buses with a safety system called Quantum, which lets passengers in wheelchairs lock themselves in place at the push of a button.

MTU rider Andy White pushes a button to activate the Quantum safety system

MTU operations manager Tim Koterwski describes the system as “a lever that comes in from the wall side, and then the Quantum comes in from the aisle side, squeezes together, and then they’re secure.”

The Quantum system puts a lever in place against the wheels of Andy’s wheelchair, to keep it from moving during a bus ride

Bus rider Andy White tested the system using his own wheelchair, during a demonstration of the system outside the La Crosse Public Library on Thursday, and he likes how it works.

“It was pretty convenient,” said Andy, “but there’s also some customers, not most, but there’s some that have walkers that say they can’t move.” White says he was told that passengers with that problem can wait for a second bus to come along. Two buses now have Quantum in La Crosse, but it will soon be standard equipment.

Koterwski says the self-operating device can save a few minutes that the bus driver might normally spend locking a wheelchair into place.

Koterwski says the lever system will require a wheelchair to be placed facing the back of the bus, to minimize the chance of injury if the bus stops or is struck from behind.

A native of Prairie du Chien, Brad graduated from UW - La Crosse and has worked in radio news for more than 30 years, mostly in the La Crosse area. He regularly covers local courts and city and county government. Brad produces the features "Yesterday in La Crosse" and "What's Buried on Brad's Desk." He also writes the website "Triviazoids," which finds odd connections between events that happen on a certain date, and he writes and performs with the local comedy group Heart of La Crosse. Brad been featured on several national TV programs because of his memory skills.

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