NST – September 25, 2006: Disabled want better access to public transport

Disabled want better access to public transport
25 Sep 2006

KUALA LUMPUR: Disabled people are tired of broken promises, tired of pleading their cause and fed up that their needs are still being ignored.

Twelve years ago, the Barrier-free Environment and Accessible Transport (BEAT) group staged a protest against the Star LRT but nothing has changed.

“In 1994, a group of disabled persons staged a protest against the Star LRT for banning wheelchair users. Now, 12 years later, it is still inaccessible!

“With the exception of Putra LRT, KTM Komuter, KL Monorail, and now the newly-launched RapidKL buses, our needs have been ignored,” BEAT representative V. Murugeswaran lamented at a gathering of about 40 disabled people at the Bangsar LRT station yesterday.

They were at the launch of RapidKL’s new bus network covering Klang, Shah Alam, Subang Jaya, Damansara, Petaling Jaya and Puchong.

Murugeswaran said the disabled felt excluded from society. Most cannot work because of poor access to public transport and buildings.

“We need to go out and work and contribute to society, and not be dependent on charity,” he said.

They handed a memorandum with their wish list to Women, Family and Community Development Parliamentary Secretary Datuk Paduka Chew Mei Fun, who was on an outing with the Senior Citizens Association, Selangor and Federal Territory.

Murugeswaran pointed out that Kuala Lumpur would be hosting the 9th Fespic Games from Nov 15 till Dec 1, the biggest event for disabled athletes in Asia and Oceania.

“What kind of impression are we giving to the international disabled community if we have no proper facilities? There’s a RM10 billion allocation to upgrade the public transport system, but there’s nothing for the disabled,” he said.

A RapidKL spokesperson said the transport company had bought 100 disabled-friendly buses with ramps. These would be delivered next month.

NST: Beat member Peter Tan demonstrating how impossible it is to board a bus

Related entry:
Wheelchair-Unfriendly Rapid KL Buses

6 Replies to “NST – September 25, 2006: Disabled want better access to public transport”

  1. they expect you to fly across to the steps … squeeze thru the doorway.. and up onto the bus… all the while doing a wheelie….. IDIOTS!!!

    Peter:
    If only I could fly…

  2. Cheap Talk? Empty words? More verbal diarrhoea?
    Perhaps?
    We get lots of promises and little, if any, action from the authorities, but whatever happens:-
    Let’s all united to press hard for a disabled friendly Malaysia.

    Peter:
    We would rather call it accessible Malaysia. But yes, let advocate for such designs. Everybody will benefit from this.

  3. I was thinking, if Rapid KL was flexible enough in allowing wheelchair users to enter from the back, the problem is half solved no?

    Paying the fare is not a major problem. Anyway, disabled persons are let in free with the “Handicap Complimentary Travel”?

    Rather than install automatic expensive ramps with the already bought 100s of buses how about have manual foldable ramps that fold into the floor panel, or are “plucked” out of the bus wall and placed at the door? Pretty primitive, but make sure it’s lightweight, safe and easy to use la.

    Educate the general public how to operate the ramp and the bus driver needn’t assist most of the time.

    And of course, remove some seats, or install foldable ones, and have accompanying safety features (more handles).

    As for it being to steep, if the ramp is extended onto the kerb, and not the road, then I think that will be manageable. I don’t know Peter, what do you think?

    Or else, it should be a good idea for bus stops to be raised a little higher than the usual kerb. Well, at the same time, don’t put steps there la.

    I’m also not sure whether disabled persons are comfortable having strangers help push them up the ramp?

    BTW, in this link “rail ramp” sounds like it.
    http://www.portaramp.co.uk/acatalog/Vehicle_Ramps.html

    And well, in the long run, have low leveled, stepless buses with automatic ramps. And make sure they work.

    Peter:
    So many things can be done to make public buses accessible but none is in their list of priorities. I do not know what else to say.

  4. wah masuk papers ah?? neat… i know i owe you lunch date…

    Peter:
    There is a point to be made there. That image clearly shows that management of public buses have no consideration when it comes to people like me. You owe me more than a lunch date.

  5. Hi, the S’pore MRT system came under fire a few years ago also, as the older stations failed to provide lifts for those who need them. The new stations all have them, and I think the older stations are being upgraded.

    But no matter how user-friendly the S’pore MRT stations are, once you wheel yourself out of a station onto the pedestrian pavement, you’re still faced with an unending obstacle of unlevelled walkways… It’s shameful how a ‘rich’ country treats its less-fortunate…

    Peter:
    You said it all.

  6. Hello.
    I am currently studying in Adelaide where the city has committed to disable friendly buses,O-Bahns and trams in recent years.I would like to say what joy it is to see wheelchair bound people travel in buses and trams in Adelaide and I would really like to see the same in Malaysia.I would like to express my full support for any effort to make the public transportation in Malaysia’s major cities.I believe it is essential that we continuously remind RapidKL and LRT/monorail operators to commit to disable friendly features in all their stations,LRTs and buses.

    Regards.

    Peter:
    Thank you for your support. If we have to constantly remind the public transport operators to include accessible facilities, then it is obvious that these companies are being run by people who do not know what they are doing. This is apparently the case with Rapid KL and all other operators who were blind, not only to the needs of wheelchair users, but also the elderly and those with mobility impairment.

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