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kropotkin1951 kropotkin1951's picture
Paris bus driver hailed a hero for kicking off ALL passengers after they refused to make room for wheelchair user

I absolutely love this story. What a great response to ignorant passengers.

Francois Le Berre, who has multiple sclerosis, was waiting to get on a bus in a Paris suburb, but none of the passengers would move to allow him space.

The bus driver, who has not been named, noticed the problem and took the unprecedented step of asking every single passenger to leave the bus.

He then allowed Mr Le Berre to come on board and drove off with him as the sole passenger.

https://www.standard.co.uk/news/world/paris-bus-driver-hailed-for-kickin...

lagatta4

That's a great story. Hope the driver isn't disciplined for his action.

Paris has made considerable progress in terms of accessibility - 30 years ago it was horrible; of course the métro was built long before anyone thought of anyone but "able-bodied workers" using it. The new tramline ringing Paris is a great help. But the indifference to others typical of the largest cities remains an obstacle.

Mr. Magoo Mr. Magoo's picture

If buses in Paris are anything like in Toronto (and it sounds like they are) then there are semi-dedicated seats (same on streetcars and the subway) that flip up to make room for a wheelchair or scooter, with necessary straps and such for stability.? Anyone sitting on such a seat is, of course, expected to vacate it if a person using a mobility device needs it.

It's not clear, though, why the guy sitting in a seat at the back, or the woman sitting next to him, had to get off the bus; it's not like they could give their seat to the man using a wheelchair.? Yes, yes, I know they can always catch the next bus, but it really doesn't make any sense.

epaulo13 epaulo13's picture

..i believe it was a refex on the part of the driver to kick the passengers off. not something well thought out. i've experienced things like this several times thoughout my life.

lagatta4

I think the driver was just pissed off at the lack of solidarity displayed by (presumably) able-bodied passengers (remember, some disabilities are invisible).

The Paris métro is very old, and while newer stations (and at least the newest line) are accessible, most are not. Many require long walks, including flights of stairs) for transfers. Paris is working on this, but it is a huge challenge.

Here in Montréal, our much newer métro system has relatively few accessible stations. They were doing renovations at the Beaubien station (0range line) a few years ago, and did NOT introduce lifts to make it accessible, saying the Jean-Talon station (just north) was already accessible, and the Rosemont station (just south) would be soon. The problem is, there are two large social housing buildings for seniors very close to Beaubien and many of the residents have severe disabilities. Indeed, those buildings accommodate people who are not yet seniors who have severe disabilities and use wheelchairs, disability scooters or other mobility aids.

cco

lagatta4 wrote:

They were doing renovations at the Beaubien station (0range line) a few years ago, and did NOT introduce lifts to make it accessible, saying the Jean-Talon station (just north) was already accessible, and the Rosemont station (just south) would be soon.

The STM really needs a disabled person on the board to make the point of how ludicrous those decisions are in the eyes of someone who has difficulty getting around. "Don't worry, you only have to go twice as far as someone who's not disabled!"

Pondering

I don't think the driver could have kicked passengers off selectively. The able-bodied can endure a delay and discomfort once in order for a wheelchair bound person to feel like a first class citizen. In the moment I might not have been happy about it but I would have understood.?

Last summer we had a community picnic but the handicapped transport never showed up for one of my neighbours. She waited 2 hours even though it was a scheduled pick-up.?