#422 – Transit Woes for the Walking Disabled

Image courtesy of Jason Bosher.

Image courtesy of Jason Bosher.

I’ve had the pleasure of meeting Jason Bosher in person. He is personable, funny and smart. But, what you wouldn’t know is that he is a member of what I call, The Walking Disabled Club. He was interviewed by The New Westminster Record for this article: Transit tough for the ‘invisible disabled’.

The sheer volume of riders on our transit system makes it exceedingly difficult to get a seat. When you don’t look disabled, and you request seating, you may encounter disdainful looks, or even verbal or physical abuse. It’s not an easy situation to monitor, nor is it easy to be put into the situation where you need to ask for the seat. As Jason pointed out in the article, you may be asking another invisible disabled person to give up their seat.

If you do end up standing, rough rides, sudden braking, or rowdy passengers may cause you to fall, resulting in further injury, or a dislocation of a prosthetic. (Believe me, you don’t want to go there!)

TransLink, Metro Vancouver’s regional transportation authority, recommends speaking to an attendant at the Sky Train station if you would like assistance in securing a seat.

If you live in a smaller community, you likely encounter a different set of transit troubles.

What is the transit seating policy in your community?

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2 Comments to “#422 – Transit Woes for the Walking Disabled”

  1. I feel for the invisibly disabled; they clearly need the seat but often end up being placed in a rather awkward position by needing to ask for it from able-bodied individuals who may resent it, not understanding… And why should they have to go and explain the rationale etc.

    Speaking to an attendant in order to secure a seat is one way of handling it… My assumption is that one could do that here in New York as well.

    Another alternative is for the government to create some sort of official badge that only the invisibly-disabled could have/display when they are boarding public transportation. This could help the invisibly-disabled indicate their need for the handicapped seats (without them having to go into any details).

    • Dorlee, that is a good point about having to explain one’s situation. I’ve heard some talk about the badge idea, much like a handicapped parking tag. There’s pros and cons to that, too.

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