Report: Barriers In Public Transportation Amount To "Systemic
By Dave Reynolds, Inclusion Daily Express
October 27, 2005
WELLINGTON, NEW ZEALAND--The way New Zealand's current public transportation system operates amounts to "systemic discrimination against disabled people," a study published Wednesday by the country's Human Rights Commission concluded.
The 208-page report was prompted two years ago by a number of people who brought to the commission complaints about how barriers within the public transportation system kept them from getting to work, seeing their doctors, shopping for groceries or even meeting friends.
"Disabled people encounter physical barriers in getting to and from and in using public transport," the authors noted. "They also face information barriers, behavioral barriers and cost barriers."
Because of these barriers, many New Zealanders with disabilities are "trapped in a lifetime sentence of poverty, marginalization and dependency" said Chief Commissioner Rosslyn Noonan.
The report recommends comprehensive mandatory accessibility standards for trains, buses, footpaths, bus stops, shelters, and stations. It also recommends legislation to require central, regional and local governments to involve people with disabilities in their public transportation planning processes.
"Urgent need for accessible public transport as population ages" (New Zealand Herald)
Report: "The Accessible Journey" (New Zealand Human Rights Commission)