I have an ongoing problem with discounts given to people with disabilities. There seem to be two arguments for this; one is something like, “People with disabilities have lower employment and less earning power than people without disabilities, therefore price discounts are good social policy”. The other one is something like, “People with disabilities have it tough, let’s give them a feel-good break”.
Interestingly, I’ve never heard an argument like “The bus doesn’t have a lift, so we’re going to give you a break on the fare to make up for the inconvenience”.
The Fort Wayne transit system is now requiring proof of Medicare or Social Security eligibility to qualify for reduced disability fares. This makes perfect sense to me: if, due to your disability or other factors you are economically disadvantaged, you get a fare reduction. I, on the other hand (despite my disability), earn a good salary, and don’t see why I should get a reduced fare.
The same argument can be made for senior citizen discounts – I’m stunned at how dedicated some well-off seniors are to getting a dollar off at the movies.
It can be a bit absurd and I know why it is done, it’s just that some people really work the system when they should not be.
I agree. Here in Portland, Ore., we already require such proof before one can get the discount. I have absolutely no problem with discounts for those who need them. I also have absolutely no problem paying full fare because I can.
I wish to ammend my previous statement; apparently, if you DON’T have your little discount card here, many bus drivers won’t let you use the lift to get on the bus. I find that to be outrageous.
Now that is outrageous. Use of the lift shouldn’t be connected to reduced fare eligibility.
I wonder if my lack of mental prowess or severe lack of manners disability qualifies me for a discount. If so I’m interested! ;-)