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  • Writer's pictureAdele-Mari Combrinck

"It’s not a good public transport ride for persons with disabilities"

October was Public Transport Month, and while South Africa’s public transport infrastructure has improved by leaps and bounds since democracy, persons with disabilities remain deeply frustrated by a system intended to be universally accessible, but misses the bus.

“The government has excellent and noble intentions, But intentions are not enough,” says Danie Marais, Universal Design and Accessibility Manager at the National Council of and for Persons with Disabilities (NCPD). “We’ve made progress. But we still have a long way to go.”

Johannesburg’s Rea Vaya service is a case in point, he notes. Unless the driver parks the bus right alongside the platform, it’s almost impossible for persons with mobility disabilities to board the “high-step” buses. When a Rea Vaya bus breaks down, fellow passengers need to carry a passenger with a mobility aid off the bus. This has profound health, safety and public liability consequences

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