What disabled people want: A little kindness

What disabled people want: A little kindness

What's your take on the fare concessions?

It's very welcome. We've been asking for a long time. But who qualifies? Does it apply to people with a temporary disability? Or only people registered with the Government or voluntary welfare organisations (VWOs)? Are those with mental issues considered to have a disability?

Whichever the case, the concession should include all persons with disabilities.

Is there a means test? (The concession) should be applied across the board, otherwise you have to go through a lot of paperwork which may be a challenge for persons with disabilities (or PWDs, as they prefer to be known).

There must be safeguards so that the concession won't be open to abuse. You have a pass. What if you lend it to someone?

Even if the concessions are given, can a person with disability get on board the bus or train? Many are wheelchair users. The route from home to the MRT station or bus stop can be a challenge because when they come to a curb, there is no ramp.

Almost every MRT station has one lift. The person in the wheelchair has to fight with able-bodied people, the elderly and people with strollers.

A member told me he waited an hour for the lift. Every time the door opens, the other people just rush in.

Staff manning the doors don't know what to do if there's a person with disability. Are there standard operating procedures? Our members say they can't get on the train during peak hours.

How big a deal is public transport cost for this group?

In Scotland, public transport is free for people with disabilities. Malaysia gives up to 50 per cent discount on trains. Australia gives taxi vouchers.

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