I have tried to use a Travelscoot - "the world's lightest foldable electric mobility scooter" - on public transport, such as buses, a number of times. I've had bus drivers refuse to allow my Travelscoot onboard as a mobility device, or to give me any assistance with loading and unloading it.
The last time I was refused access to public transport, I had been summoned and selected for jury duty. After two days I informed the judge of my situation, and they ordered a disability vehicle to pick me up, take me to court, and drop me back home each day. All at additional cost, which could have been avoided if my my mobility device had been allowed on so-called 'public' transport.
This is a recurring access barrier for me, and the impact is having no transportation. Try walking home, when you can't walk! I have a solution - my TravelScoot - but it's of no use when you are then denied access.
I would like to see our politicians and lawmakers using only mobility devices and public transport for a month or two, and see how it feels!
This is a story about the barriers many face. We're sharing it because we want a law that puts accessibility at the heart of an inclusive Aotearoa New Zealand.
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