Accessibility is not just about getting on or off a bus, as Sam's story shows
In this entry, Sam recalls how difficult it was during a North Shore outing with her aunt, who uses a wheelchair. Few bus drivers offered assistance, and when they did it put her aunt in danger.
It was a long day yesterday.
I was surprised at how each bus is different And the bus drivers were no help again this time! My body was crippled at the end of it.
Only two bus drivers out of maybe twelve helped. This time we had some pieces fall off the wheelchair after one driver fiddled with the belts on the wheel at the right side. He did nothing on the other wheel, so she was only partly strapped in and was whipped around as the bus started moving.
I asked the driver and he said he did not have enough equipment for the wheelchair today on the bus.
So I asked "is every bus is different for wheelchairs?" He said yes, not all the buses are the same and people have different models of wheelchairs and scooters. Apparently some buses are not equipped to handle certain models, and this bus was not equipped for hers.
Well, we could not get out and wait an hour for another bus! North Shore buses have terrible schedules and no wonder people buy cars on this side. So we stayed on, and she was hanging on the edge and would have been thrown if there had been an accident.
She was hanging on the edge, and would have been thrown out had there been an accident
It was also difficult when bus drivers stood in the part of the bus where we were, acting like they were going to help but then doing nothing. I had to turn her around in the tight squeezed wheelchair space because they just would not help.
I had no clue how to strap or hook her, and it seems many of the drivers did not either, so we are still figuring out what to do with the buses!
Facing an accessibility barrier you want people to know about? Get in touch!
Spencer van Vloten is the editor of BC Disability. To get in touch, send an email to email@example.com!