Bus firms doing little to accommodate people in wheelchairs: Report

800px-Blue-lightweight-wheelchair
wheelchair. Picture: Wikimedia Commons/Arnold C

A number of bus companies in the Netherlands still don't meet the wheelchair accessibility standard set in 2012, Trouw reports based on research by DTV Consultants. The 2012 standard states that 98 percent of all buses in the Netherlands must be accessible to disabled people. The study revealed that wheelchair bound people can't take the bus in 8 percent of their attempts to do so, according to the newspaper.

For the study, wheelchair users made over 450 anonymous test trips on public buses. In 8 percent of the cases, the wheelchair user was left behind. Half of these were because of a problem with the bus' wheelchair ramp. A few times the bus just drove off. And once a bus driver refused to let a disabled person on board. In 14 percent of the trips that were made, the wheelchair user considered the assistance from the driver to be insufficient. In 7 percent the wheelchair user did not feel treated with respect. 

According to Barbara Bos of the College for Human Rights, she sometimes receives 'scary' reports. She mentions a report by one wheelchair user who arrived just in time for the last bus at midnight, but the bus driver refused to take her. "Despite being called in advance, the bus driver refused to take the wheelchair. The woman in question was forced to spend the night in a hotel." she said to the newspaper.

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