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Syktyvkar activist is going to sue the bus company for refusing to transport wheelchair user

What happened

Recently, people with disabilities repeatedly faced difficulties in getting into the new low-floor buses in the capital of the Komi Republic. According to Alexander Davydovsky, one such case occurred on August 17th.

'My wife is in a wheelchair. We went together to a bus stop in Nizhny Chov. The bus number 54 rode, but stood about a meter away from the curb. I asked the driver, how we could climb. The driver answered: "What can I do?". As a result, we almost carried the wheelchair. At the landing, he again stopped in half a meter, although the standards claimed no less than 35 centimeters [has not yet been confirmed officially],' Davydovsky said.

On August 20, chairman of the public organization "Apparel" Ilya Kostin encountered the same problem. He tried to get on the bus number 54 near the railway station. The driver stopped the transport about a meter away from a stop. To get into it, Ilya Kostin had to move in a wheelchair through the border that could be unsafe. He asked the driver to drive closer, but he refused and left.

Video of the incident has already more than 45,000 views on YouTube.

'The driver looked at me and did not react. He went out with the words: "Could not you drive earlier?". And then he threw the ramp, with small hinges. In a month or two it would not work with such using,' said Kostin.

What's next

Ilya Kostin intends to sue the bus company. Transportation route number 54 is carried out by the company "SATE 1".

'I want enterprise to gather all drivers together so we could tell them about the meaning of disability and how to use the ramp,' Ilya Kostin said.

According to him, he called the head of the company "SATE 1" (serving the route number 54) Alexander Rukavishnikov twice; Rukavishnikov apologized to him and promised to deal with this situation, but noted that it could take time.

'Call me tomorrow. As long as the driver did not write explanatory, I would not like to comment. It’s his working shift tomorrow, and I'll be ready to comment. But in any case, the driver will be punished,' Rukavishnikov told «7x7».

According to Ilya Kostin, he along with other social activists will monitor the boarding of the wheelchair users in Syktyvkar.

What preceded the conflict

Social activists have repeatedly advocated the purchase of new low-floor buses for Syktyvkar enterprises. August 5, 2016 officials have presented vehicles at Stefanovskaya square. According to "Apparel", these buses would largely resolve the issue of accessibility to public transport for people with disabilities.

At the meeting, Alexander Rukavishnikov asked Ilya Kostin to report  on each case of the access denial of wheelchair users to respond substantively.

New buses started serving on August 8; they serve routes number 1, 5 and 54.

Maxim Polyakov, «7x7»


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