Public Transportation is Ours too

Public transport (also known as public transportation, public transit, or mass transit) is a shared passenger transport service which is available for use by the general public, as distinct from modes such as taxicab, carpooling or hired buses which are not shared by strangers without private arrangement. Public transport is used by the government to give people easy access to move from one place to another. It is also used to reduce the rate of traffic jam that’s caused by massive numbers of private transportation.

Used by all people public transportation should be accessible, whether its for kids, elderly, pregnant women, and disabled people. Usually, public transportation like bus and train has priority seat for kids, elderly, pregnant women, and disabled people. In some countries this seat will remain empty if the passenger are not on the list above. Even when the seat is seated, other passenger will stand up and let the people in the priority list sit on their seat.

In developed countries, public transportation is disabled friendly. During my stay in Taiwan I get to know that disabled people able to use public transportation easily like normal people. The government consideration for them is high and it makes them feel appreciated and able to continue their life independently. If you use wheel chair and want to take a bus, the bus driver will gladly assist you. Taiwan even has wheelchair accessible taxi.

Picture courtesy google

As long as public transportation is easy to reach, safe and comfortable people most likely to choose public transportation. In Indonesia there are many kinds of public transportations such as mini bus (also known as mikrolet or angkot), bus, and train. Some cities even has their own traditional public transportation.

Most of the public transportation in Indonesia has no priority seat nor disabled friendly. There are times when elderly, pregnant women or disabled people has stand like any other passenger. According BBC using train can be very challenging for people with disability. People with vision disability has difficulty to recognise the path they’re taking. Not only they have to constantly ask for direction they also need to constantly ask for the next station stop so they don’t miss their destination. The distance between the train and platform also become a problem for them. They don’t know how far the distance is and how many step stairs they need to take.

Picture courtesy google

People with hearing disability continuously confuse about the train’s destination, they have no idea if the train goes to their destination or otherwise. People with wheelchair sometimes have problem to get into the train because the door or the gate is too small for the wheelchair. In this case, the person needs to be carried and the wheelchair needs to be folded. All the problem above make people with disability having difficulty to go alone.

Indonesia’s government regulation about traffic and road transport (UU No 29 Tahun 2009 : 25) and  railways (UU No 23 Tahun 2007 : 131) are required to have support facilities for people with disability but the implementation isn’t as it should be. Right now, Jakarta, Surabaya, Palembang and Bandung are going to build a new public transportation. I do hope Mass Rapid Transit or Light Rail Train will provide a better support facility for disabled people as stated in government regulations. After all, public transportation is theirs too.

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