Wheelchairs get a lift for bus travel

IMG_1313.JPGMark Hughes may not be fleet of foot — he uses a wheelchair, after all. But he got ahead of Greyhound.

The disability advocate says he tried to take the bus to Chicago two years ago, only to discover that the bus didn’t have a working lift to get him on board. The bus left without him, so he took action and filed a formal complaint with the state’s Human Rights Department.

Now, he’s won a $4,000 settlement and a pledge from the carrier to do better. He released the settlement with Greyhound this morning.

“We got training for all the state of Minnesota Greyhound drivers, training to help handle the lifts and handle the disability travelers needs,” Hughes said.

It’s a big deal for people who need specialized transportation, Hughes added. “Of course gas is what, $3.62 a gallon I guess it is now. That’s an expense that the disabled community has to incur, and when your vehicles get 12 to 15 miles a gallon, if you’re taking any distance trip at all… Greyhound is pretty important.”

Hughes attorney, Justin Page, says incidents like this aren’t common, but that there have been a few others across the country. But he says its a big deal for those directly effected: “For people with disabilities, you show up at the Greyhound station, you think you have a lift-equipped bus, and you don’t… you’re stuck.”

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