Passenger in wheelchair denied access to AC Transit bus

AC Transit is investigating an incident that occurred last Friday night when a passenger in a wheelchair was denied access to a bus.
January 15, 2014 8:37:24 PM PST
AC Transit is investigating an incident that occurred last Friday night when a passenger in a wheelchair was denied access to a bus.

The amateur video was taken and posted on YouTube. You can't really make out the conversation between the AC Transit bus driver and the passenger, but it's clear the man in the wheelchair is not being allowed on board and threatens to block the bus, which he then does for several minutes.

AC Transit is now interviewing the driver and looking at its own surveillance video.

AC Transit would not comment on camera, but the agency's media affairs manager posted a comment under the YouTube video giving reasons why the bus operator may have refused the wheelchair passenger saying, the wheelchair securement area might already have been occupied by another or there were other able-bodied passengers who may have refused to move.

It appears there was no one in that area and the bus was not crowded.

"He was fed up because this most of happened to him over and over," Laurence Paradis said.

Paradis is with Disability Rights Advocates in Berkeley. While the details of this incident are not known, he says quite often people in wheelchairs are passed over by some bus drivers.

"Wheelchair users are passed by buses in the rain in the snow," Paradis said. "Drivers simply don't want to be bothered with going through the extra effort to deploy a lift."

Drivers must also stop to help the disabled secure their wheelchairs once inside.

AC Transit responded by saying, "The video is unclear as to whether the bus operator adhered to proper procedures. The agency is currently investigating, to find out."

But as the video shows, nine minutes later, the driver did deploy the lift and the passenger finally got on board.


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