The Mythical Wheelchair Passenger

I wish I had the statistics to refute this sort of thing:

By the way, my own local bus route (London route 101 for those knowledgeable) was one of the first adapted, new buses and alterations at all the bus stops, all ceremonially opened by the mayor of the time. In the 10 years since this was all done I have never, ever, seen a wheelchair passenger on the route.

(From Manufacturers warned by EC that aircraft designs must accommodate disabled passengers)

I did a search, but didn’t find any ridership statistics. Anybody got any evidence contrary to this claim?



  1. Fritz

    I have a friend living in the UK with a wheelchair using child. I’ll ask her to come to this page and comment.

    This is completely anecdotal, but I don’t believe I’ve ever seen a wheelchair user ride on RTD, but of course that’s no reason to not accomodate them. Of course here in the Denver/Boulder area we have Access-a-Ride. In other areas I’ve used public transit (San Francisco, Chicago, Austin, Paris) I’ve seen wheelchair users ride.

    You can try calling your RTD representative, Lee Kemp. His phone number is 303.465.4046. Lee is completely unresponsive and kind of a jerk and I hope he loses when he comes up for re-election in 2008, but it can’t hurt to try asking him for ridership statistics. Post his response here if my some miracle he does happen to get in touch with you.

  2. mdmhvonpa

    You know, since Holocost Denial is in fashion now (vis-a-vis Iran), why not Handicap Denial?

  3. Rebecca

    Well, I’m a wheelchair user, I grew up in London and if I lived there now I’d use the buses daily. I could probably name 10 people (and that’s just out of this 20-year-old’s friendship group) who I know use the London buses on a regular basis. I could probably make a list of 20 if I thought about it.

    What’s happened is that anyone much older than me and my friends who’s a wheelchair user or otherwise steps-impaired has had a whole lifetime of public transport being barred to them. They’ve learned to go about daily life using taxis and cars and those ‘orrible electric scooters, and why should they swap to noisy, overcrowded buses now? The skeptics need to wait and watch as new generations of wheelchair users grow up able to take for granted that they can get to where they’re going by bus.


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