REV Group's Collins Bus subsidiary is using the Ram ProMaster van as the basis for its first-in-class low-floor special needs school bus.

The new bus debuted at the recent School Transportation News Conference & Trade Show in Reno, Nevada. It takes advantage of the ProMaster’s ground-hugging design to eliminates the need for a lift, which is needed by other special-needs buses.

Collins is the first school bus with a truly low entry height.​

Instead of a lift, the Ram-based bus has a driver-deployable ramp so the many children who use wheelchairs can enter and exit the bus without assistance. The Collins system also eliminates the downtime and maintenance costs of a wheelchair lift.

The ProMaster's front-wheel drive setup allowed Collins engineers to design a true low-floor vehicle with a single entry with a nine-inch-high entry step when the ramp is retracted.

Collins also pointed out that the ProMaster has a smaller turning radius than competitors, making the bus more maneuverable in neighborhoods. The front wheel drive also helps traction on snow and ice.