Conflict ramps up: walker-reliant rider complains driver left her stranded
A Montrealer who relies on public transit and a walker to navigate the city says that she was disappointed that a driver steadfastly refused to lower a ramp to allow her to leave the 24 bus on Sherbrooke.
Aimee Louw said that she attempted to discuss the matter with the driver but with no explanation or understanding forthcoming, supervisors and police were called in.
“Someone finally got off the bus and assisted me, which meant lifting my walker onto the bus and then helping me up by arm to take the step onto the bus,” Louw told CTV Montreal Saturday.
Louw said that she now plans to make a complaint as she says what happened is a violation of Quebec's Charter of Human Rights.
The frustrations with bus services are common among the less mobile, according to one official.
"They don't like elder people, they don't like people with a disability probably they think that lowering the ramp they are going to be late," said Linda Gauthier, president of the RAPLIQ group.
Montreal transit system executive Marvin Rotrand said that he cannot comment on the situation without hearing from both sides but said that an effort is underway to ensure that all buses are properly equipped with working ramps.
“The bus system is being retrofitted so that it will be able to carry people with wheelchairs. Right now virtually the entire bus fleet has ramps. Many have the older type which aren’t as reliable as the new type that go at the front of the bus, so when a citizen says that the ramp didn’t work, I cant say that it isn’t true, I can only say we’re working on making them more reliable."