The Star – April 26, 2007: Buses for disabled later

Nation
Thursday April 26, 2007

Buses for disabled later

PENANG: The state government will bring in buses equipped with facilities for wheelchair passengers once the new RapidPenang bus system is running smoothly.

The RapidPenang bus service is scheduled to start operations in August with 150 buses initially.

State Traffic Management Committee chairman Datuk Dr Teng Hock Nan said buses with facilities for wheelchair passengers would have to stop longer for boarding and could disrupt arrival schedules.

“Such buses do not fit into the first phase of the RapidPenang bus service system which we have to ensure runs efficiently first,” he said.

Dr Teng said another 100 new buses with facilities for wheelchair passengers would be brought in.

He said the 150 buses for the first phase were equipped with special seats for the elderly, pregnant women and children.

“They are low-floor buses, meaning that the elderly and pregnant women do not have to climb many steps to board them,” Dr Teng added.

The state government’s decision to bring in non-disabled friendly buses has drawn flak from the Barrier-Fee Environment and Accessible Transport Group (BEAT).

Its coordinator Christine Lee said cost should not be a justification for not bringing in such buses.

The Support Group Society for the Blind of Malaysia secretary Abdul Karim Stuart Russell wrote to The Star suggesting that the Penang government used buses equipped with all the necessary facilities for everyone to use.

Author: Peter Tan

Peter Gabriel Tan. Penangite residing in the Klang Valley. Blissfully married to Wuan. A LaSallian through and through. Minion to three cats. Wheelchair user since 1984. Columnist of Breaking Barriers with The Borneo Post. Principal Trainer at Peter Tan Training specialising in Disability Equality Training. This blog chronicles my life, thoughts and opinions. Connect with me on Twitter and Facebook.

3 thoughts on “The Star – April 26, 2007: Buses for disabled later”

  1. This is just a sad state of affairs. What’s wrong with bringing the buses in all at one shot? Would it hurt to arrive just a few minutes later because you’re helping the disabled? If they bring in the buses later, doesn’t that mean that there will be even greater delays because people and the bus drivers will have to stop longer to adjust to picking up those in wheelchairs and the like?

    This seems like an excuse NOT to bring in the buses. And some people wonder why Malaysia is a laughing stock.

    Peter:
    Are we a land of Malaysia Boleh or Malaysia Tak Boleh?

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