I was waiting for my regular bus at the bus stop near my house. I use a walker that I cannot do without and also wear a helmet sometimes in case I fall.
When the bus arrived, the bus driver said:, “I’m not putting the bus ramp down because you are not eligible to use it”. I was very surprised about this, and said: “Yes, I am. Read page 63 of the Drivers handbook.”
I knew this because I did training for rollators with the Transport Police about two years ago. I once had to ask a Transport Police officer to help when I had a problem with mobility on the bus and the officer shadowed me on several buses to see what happens. Sometimes, I’m asked to fold up the walker which is not allowed. Once I did the training, the Transport Police put posters up everywhere of me, with a phone number.
Then as soon as I told the driver about the driver’s handbook, he said “sorry” and he put the ramp down.
I felt embarrassed when one passenger said, “I’ve got to get somewhere – hurry up, driver”. I told the passenger that he might be disabled one day himself which I hoped would make him think about how people with disabilities have to move around.
So, with the ramp down at last, off I went. If I didn’t have the ramp down, I might have ended up falling off.
I felt really good because I taught him a lesson from his own handbook.