Thursday, September 9, 2010

Public transport is treated as a joke

This is me having a good old whinge.
Public Transport Minister Pakula is living in la-la land.
He thinks buses are perfectly acceptable and the answer to all our public transport shortfalls.
Let's have a look at trying to push a wheelchair onto a bus - near impossible.
The driver has to get down to lower the retro-fitted ramp, the person pushing the wheelchair has to shove past a dogs leg bend in the aisle then swing the wheelchair around to fit into the (often) only spot reserved for a wheelchair on buses and make certain the wheelchair is facing forwards without crushing other commuters in the process.
To exit the bus is almost as painful, with the gradient on those retro-fitted ramps so sharp that one is almost running when you reach the footpath and then you have to drag back on the chair so as to stop it from careening off into god-knows-what.
The connecting coaches to the V/Line regional trains, which are supposedly the replacement for all those regional railway stations remaining closed?
Go look at this HERE.
See the wheelchair symbol?
That is to signify that the service is wheelchair accessible.
You know, accessible as in the fact that the person in the wheelchair can actually get on the service whilst still in the wheelchair.
The wheelchair can be folded and stored in the undercarriage of the coach whilst the disabled person can CLIMB the steps into the coach (with other people trying to support them).
We searched high and low and couldn't figure out how the flock the coach qualified as being wheelchair accessible in any way, shape or form.
While perfectly good railway stations sit idle, except maybe for rail freight, which could take umpteen trains which are all perfectly wheelchair accessible in the correct meaning of the term.


  1. Jayne, Your system sounds as dysfunctional as ours in the U.S. I live near a fairly small town that sure could use some public transportation other than a shuttle bus around the town. If one decides to to leave the town on public transportation, they are on their own -- unless they want to take a very expensive taxi to the next town. Screwy.

    Your wheelchair situation is a problem for sure.

    I wonder what country has public transportation that really meets all the needs of its citizens?

  2. I feel your pain! Public transport where I live is scarce as hen's teeth and on weekends it's even worse. Having missed the bus on more than a few occasions there, I've had to walk home. A trip taking four hours!

    "On the Buses" would have done a better job, no doubt, for you and me.

    Take Care,

  3. We have wheelchair buses here too.
    Not nearly enough and they don't seem to run to a regular schedule. Some of ours have the ramp at the front door entrance, others have the ramp at the centre exit door. Many buses don't have ramps so if you're waiting at a bus stop, well, too bad, just keep waiting I suppose until an accessible bus comes along.....
    Even our regular, non-wheelchair buses differ. Some have a wide entrance, some are narrower, some have two steps up as soon as you get inside, others have two steps up halfway along the aisle, there's just no consistency at all. Let's not mention schedules or how many times the buses are late......

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