SBS Transit runs 168 wheelchair-friendly bus services, but are all buses plying these routes accessible to wheelchair users?
On the night of March 24, my friend, a wheelchair user, flagged down service 86 along Ang Mo Kio Avenue 6. He takes this service regularly and knows it is wheelchair-accessible.
He positioned himself appropriately for the driver to help him board the bus. The bus stopped to allow passengers to board and alight. However, the driver did not alight to render assistance to my friend. Instead, he drove off.
I called the SBS hotline the next day and was told that even though all the bus stops along the service 86 route are accessible to wheelchair users, not all buses on this service are wheelchair-friendly.
But the bus that my friend flagged down was wheelchair-accessible, so why did the driver ignore him?
Also, are all wheelchair users aware that not all buses on a wheelchair-friendly route are accessible to them? I checked the SBS website and could not find anything pertaining to this.
Is there a way for a wheelchair user to check which buses plying his designated route are wheelchair-accessible, so he can better plan his journey?
What happens if a wheelchair user flags down the last bus for the day and finds it is not accessible to him? Is he expected to take a cab home?
Ng Kim Yong (Mrs)
This article was published on April 1 in The Straits Times.Get a copy of The Straits Times or go to straitstimes.com for more stories.