Continued from What is Discrimination?
While I was boarding the bus in my electric wheelchair, the operator ask me where I wanted to get off at. I explained to the operator that I wanted to please get off at “A” Blvd. All of the time while we were in route to “A” Blvd. the operator was socializing with other passengers. Before we arrived at “A” Blvd. I pushed the red button, to signal the operator that I wanted to get off at the next stop, “A” Blvd. [ In the wheelchair area of the bus, when the red button is pushed, to signal “Stop Requested” the bell rings two times]. The operator did not hear the signal because the operator was socializing with the other passengers.
Because I’m a person with a disability I did not want to be accused of interrupting the operator while they were socializing with the other passengers, that is why I did not speak up. However another passenger did speak up and the operator got mad at me, because I did not speak up.
When ever I have my electric wheelchair with me, I really do not care what bus stop I get off at. I know and understand that sometimes their might be other activities going on around the bus stop. As an example, maybe road construction or police activity.
This bus ride down to the movie theater was almost as entertaining as the movie “Cars 2”. In another post I will be writing about the movie “Cars 2”.
Being independent is not being afraid to ask for help. There are Blue Disabled Person Signs with arrows pointing to where the entrances, exits, ramps and elevators are to the train stations.
When the train arrives at the station, go to doors where the Blue Disabled Person Sign is. On some trains it might be in the middle of the train car. Other cars might have the Blue Disabled Person Sign on each end of the car, by the doors. Go to the door where you want to board the car, wait until the doors open and the passengers deboard the train. Please note that the train car might not be level with the platform. I have found that it is a little bit easier, safer to enter the train car on a little diagonally, just so that both of the front wheels of your electric wheelchair do not get stuck in the space between the platform and the train car, this also applies to manual wheelchairs.. There is sometimes about 1 inch to 3 inches of space between the platform and train car. A person walking without any mobility aides would not have any trouble stepping over the space between the platform and train car. A person using any type of mobility aides, cane, crutches or a walker would have to be very careful. After you have boarded the train car in your electric wheelchair, proceed to the wheelchair area of the train car, place your electric wheelchair in a comfortable place, turn off the power, sit back relax and enjoy the ride. There are signs on board the train that show where the wheelchair area is.
Arriving at your destination.
If you feel comfortable doing so, you might want to start moving slowly close to the doors so when the train arrives at your destination station and the doors open you can be one of the first passengers to deboard the train. Please remember that the platform might not be level with the floor of the car you are deboarding.
My first trip using public transportation I had a friend go with me. All we did was spend a day riding around on different transit buses and trains getting on and off them, just so that I could be comfortable doing this on my own.
Continued from Boarding the Bus in an Electric Wheelchair.
Discrimination is not that …
Your skin is a different color.
You speak a different language.
Your left arm is longer then your right arm.
You use the aide of an electric or manual wheelchair, walker or cane to get around in your community.
One of the many reasons why a wheelchair passenger might board the public transit vehicle [bus] first is that they need more room to maneuver their wheelchair into the securement area of the vehicle, how ever it is up to the discretion of the transit operator, who boards the bus first.
It is recommended, but not required that a person in a wheelchair back on to the lift or backing up the ramp into the public transit vehicle [bus]. With the style of electric wheelchair that I have, backing onto the lift or backing up the ramp into the public transit vehicle [bus]. This allows me more room to maneuver my wheelchair into the securement area of the vehicle. The model of electric wheelchair that I have is a Invacare Power Chair [Torque 3 Power W/C Base And Seat Wmk6l].
With the new mid wheel drive electric wheelchairs, I have seen passengers going onto the lift, up the ramp into the public transit vehicle [bus] , forwards.
Having to wait a few extra minutes to board, deboard a public transit vehicle [bus], is not really discrimination.
From the post “Boarding the Bus in an electric wheelchair” the teenage girl was allowed to board the bus.
The U.S. Department of Transportation has more information on boarding a public transit vehicle [bus] in a wheelchair.
With the high cost of motor fuel there are more people using public transportation these days, so please be a little more understanding when boarding or deboarding a public transit vehicle [bus].
To be Continued……
The bus arrived at the bus stop. While I was sitting in my electric wheelchair, I signaled to the transit operator, [bus driver] that I wanted to board the bus. The transit operator opened the doors and started to deploy the lift. While the lift was deploying, a teenage girl stepped onto the lift. The transit operator stopped the lift and told the teenage girl to please get off of the bus, because the wheelchair passenger boards the bus first. I heard the teenage girl say “that this is discrimination”. I said nothing. When the lift was completely deployed I boarded the bus.
Is this discrimination?