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Bus access for blind or partially sighted

Description: ECan_logo_Black

September 14, 2012

MEDIA STATEMENT

Bus access for those who are blind, deafblind or partially sighted

Environment Canterbury and organisations representing those who blind, partially sighted or deafblind in Christchurch are working together to find ways to improve access to Christchurch bus services for all passengers who have a vision impairment.

Passenger Services Manager David Stenhouse says in 2007 Environment Canterbury introduced a guideline asking people to signal the driver if they intended boarding an approaching bus.

“We introduced this guideline to improve the reliability of the network so drivers would not have to make unnecessary stops. At the time we considered that drivers would be able to identify a person who has a vision impairment by a white cane or a guide dog. This is standard practice in many other centres and seemed to be effective.

“However In the past few months it has become evident that not all drivers have been stopping to pick up passengers who have a vision impairment and this has caused them and their organisations some concern.

“Ensuring everyone has the same access to passenger services is a real issue for us and we will be working collaboratively with representatives of these organisations to develop appropriate policy and to look for solutions to address the problem.

“However we will still be asking people without impairments to signal the driver to indicate that they are an intending passenger. This will help ensure that drivers do not have to stop unnecessarily and help get passengers to their destinations on time.
ends

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