Wednesday, November 23, 2016

Disabled complain about bus service obstacles

Many disabled people have complained that they still face many difficultieswhen using public buses, particularly unfriendly attitudes from bus staff.
The problem was mentioned at a conference developing friendly buses for the disabled held in HCM City on November 22.
At the event, Tran Phuong, a disabled resident in Thu Duc District said that bus stops in the city did not have a separate lane for disabled passengers, so she had to pick up buses at road-bed. This was not only dangerous for her but also affected traffic.
Tran Phuong complained about difficulties for the disabled in using public buses at the event
Tran Phuong complained about difficulties for the disabled in using publicbuses at the event
Another disabled person Nguyen Thi Huyen from HCM City Social Sciences and Humanity University said she almost received no support from bus staff.
“I often have to get on buses by myself without getting any help from bus assistants. One time, when I got on a bus already, but the assistant told me to get off because the bus was crowded. But, in reality, it was not crowdedat all at that time”, Huyen added.
Tran Thi Hong Ngoc in Hoc Mon District who had to use a wheelchair for many years so she always finds it difficult getting on buses.
“Recently, while waiting for a bus on pavement, the assistant driver told me to come into the bus, but I couldn’t and asked him for help. However, he refused and told me to wait for the next bus. As a result, I missed threebuses and finally two students helped me to get on a bus,” Ngoc said.
Ngoc also expressed his worry about the lack of skills among bus staff in supporting disabled people to get on or get off buses. “In many cases, bus assistants quickly carry me to the bus without asking me what should be done without hurting me?”
Following these complaints from the disabled, Deputy Director of the HCM City Department of Transport Le Hoang Minh frankly said there were problems with the service provided by staff. Minh also pointed out that the bus design is unsuitable for the disabled.
Since 2006, the department has provided 11,017 free bus cards fordisabled people and upgraded 350 out of 497 local bus stops to make them to be more disabled-friendly.
Currently, the two first rows of seats on each bus are for the disabled. Some 260 of 2,512 buses in the city have equipment to help the disabled to get on or get off buses more easily.
Minh noted that the city has continued improving bus services to attract more disabled passengers. The city plans to put into use more disabled-friendly buses.
Besides the municipal Department of Transport will also hold training courses to raise staff awareness about the issue.


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