Rolling Without Limits

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Using Public Transit When in a Wheelchair
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Using Public Transit When in a Wheelchair

There is a bit cof ontroversy in Toronto currently, about whether or not baby strollers should be allowed on buses at certain times of the day, or if they should limit the number allowed on any one bus. People are taking a stand on both sides. Many young mothers rely on public transit in the city and, as one mother said, it's hard to hold a 25 pound baby, try to fold a stroller, and then climb on the bus, especially if you have a disability.

This made me start thinking of wheelchairs on public transit and the need for all buses to be completely accessible. Many of the same people who complain about baby strollers also complain when it takes longer for a person on a wheelchair to get on an accessible bus. There are special buses for the disabled but they are not convenient at all times. I use a service called Mobility Plus, which I have written about previously. You need to book a ride three days in advance, which is not helpful when you have to be somewhere at short notice. In my city, not all buses are accessible yet, so people in wheelchairs often have to wait for an accessible bus--not great, especially in the sub-zero weather we are currently experiencing.

There is an easy solution to this, in my opinion. Every bus should have space at the front where wheelchairs or baby strollers can fit. This keeps them out of the way, and they do not interfere with anyone else. That might mean four to six less seats on the bus ,but it is only fair. Of course, people will still complain that it takes more time for a wheelchair-bound person to get on the bus, but they are the type of person who only thinks of themselves.

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  1. pftsusan
    pftsusan
    #2 We have Access Link for the disabled, in all 50 states which turned out to be contraversial as well.
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    1. Susan Keeping
      Susan Keeping
      Thanks for your comment. I am so grateful for the services I use. And thankfully we can also buy discounted tickets to use in taxis.
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      1. pftsusan
        pftsusan
        In the beginning we were all excited because you could travel across all 50 states with Access Link. With that said as it turned out, everyone who uses it has to allow a three hour window. Then when people were picked up they force to go to places that they didn't want to go to because the person ahead of them scheduled it , leaving them totally missing and having to reschedule their appointments and days. Several of those with handicaps almost flunked out of college on the kind of this going on with Access Link Services. For those who called a week ahead of time to schedule their driver with access link for college, that was ok unless an woman was getting an abortion. Wether you were for or against the abortion you were stuck waiting 4-6 hours until she was done for your driver to take you to school. Thus you missed all your classes for that day, leaving you behind.
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        1. Susan Keeping
          Susan Keeping
          Ours is better, you have a 30 minute window. I'm lucky, most times I don't have to go many places. You also schedule your return time.
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  2. Lil Nana
    Lil Nana
    #4 I agree with you and like your idea
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    1. Susan Keeping
      Susan Keeping
      Thanks. Hopefully one day the entire world will be accessible to all.
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      1. Lil Bit
        Lil Bit
        I use public transit on some occasions. I complain about the bus schedule not because of wheelchair passengers. In the cities of AZ, we need more and bigger buses. I dislike our public transit system. It is definitely not user friendly.
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        1. Susan Keeping
          Susan Keeping
          I agree, and cities are trying to get more people to use buses rather than drive. They are not very forward thinking.
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  3. Broken English
    Broken English
    Voted. 100% agree. Here in Britain most public transport is wheelchair-accessible, I am pleased to say. You might be interested in my latest blog, Let Meditation Be Your Medication! Please check it out and vote if you like it. :-)
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    1. Susan Keeping
      Susan Keeping
      Thanks for your vote :)
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  4. SignLanguage
    I just now came across this post. I am Canadian as well and dumbfounded - you mean, they don't have the buses with the front seats that lift to create a spot for strollers and wheelchairs in TO yet??? Vancouver, Ottawa and Montreal all have them! What's up with your end of the country? Wow. As a Canadian, I am shocked, even embarassed, at this. I voted and invite you to read my new post, Deaf Culture, part I. Vote if you like it too.
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    1. SignLanguage
      Have you heard of the 'kneeling' buses yet? Ottawa even has buses that are level with sidewalks now - the wheelchairs and strollers just roll on.
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      1. Susan Keeping
        Susan Keeping
        Yes, we have some of them here. Most buses are now accessible but some are not. And I guess the streetcars in Toronto can't be changed.
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  5. sweedly
    sweedly
    I used public transportation for disabled in Fl. The drivers were rude and drove too fast. They would pick you up hours before your the planned time and then you would ride around till they dropped you off and wait another 3 hours for them to pick you up. Talk about feeling abandoned and afraid of never getting home. This is a real concern for anyone using the public disability services. I have not tried them in Pa., yet because of misgivings about the program. Voted!
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