November 09, 2006
"Should the Handicapped Be Banned From Express Buses?"

Erica Barnett poses the question on The Stranger blog:

This morning, the ride on my express bus from the Rainier Valley, which is supposed to take 30 minutes, was delayed four times for the entry and exit of two handicapped people in wheelchairs ... Thus a ride that was supposed to be "express" ended up getting me (and maybe 100 other people) to work 20 minutes late.

So I'm just putting this out there: Is it fair for one or two handicapped individuals' right to public accomodation to trump the right of dozens or hundreds of others to have reliable transit service that gets them to work on time?

A discussion in the comments ensues. Read the whole thing.

Posted by Stefan Sharkansky at November 09, 2006 02:15 PM | Email This
Comments
1. One solution would be to install hooks on all wheelchairs. The bus could drag a cable and hook them similar to the flight line on an aircraft carrier. Everybody wins.

Posted by: swassociates on November 9, 2006 02:28 PM
2. Metro promotes their Access vans just for these situations.

Posted by: Bob in SeaTac on November 9, 2006 02:51 PM
3. Yes -- also late ---

Posted by: Lew on November 9, 2006 02:58 PM
4. That solution has ADA lawsuit written all over it.

Posted by: Palouse on November 9, 2006 03:08 PM
5. I get so confused... it seems that handicapped folks want to be "treated just like everyone else", except when they want special treatment.

Posted by: Huey on November 9, 2006 03:10 PM
6. Well, if Muslims can just stop work because they need to pray, sometimes inhibiting production, if Wickens can stop Halloween, if aethists can stop the Pledge of Allegiance and even Christmas, what's a few minutes late because of some handicapped folks?

Posted by: katomar on November 9, 2006 03:13 PM
7. I thought stem cells were going to cure them once and for all.

Posted by: Adam on November 9, 2006 03:16 PM
8. No, Adam: If Kerry/Edwards had just been elected, THEN the paralyzed would walk again...

Posted by: Shaun on November 9, 2006 03:26 PM
9. Wow, I thought you folks on the right were just stupid, but it turns out you're stupid and mean.

Posted by: me on November 9, 2006 03:30 PM
10. Me,

You are irony challenged. Please return to Go, and do not collect your $200 Welfare/Section 8 check.

Thanks,
Me

Posted by: Me drinks Pee on November 9, 2006 03:33 PM
11. No, actually, it's my boss who's mean -- the one who will fire me if I'm continually 20 minutes late. So must I take an earlier bus, losing a half hour of my day and showing up anywhere from 30 to 50 minutes early, just in case the number of handicapped folks is sufficient to make me late? Thanks for letting me know what the enlightened answer is. I look forward to your response.

Posted by: John on November 9, 2006 03:33 PM
12. Once again, the liberal idea of equality is translated into reality as poor service for everyone.

Posted by: misanthrope on November 9, 2006 03:37 PM
13. John,

You are so heartless! If you were a good member of the People's Cube, you would sacrifice everything for the good of those un-similarly yet differently-abled poor souls! Like you would quit your job in protest so you could shove it to "the Man"! "The Man", aka your Boss, obviously doesn't care about our rolling brothers and sisters, and any money he gives you is tainted by blood for oil and puppy killing! Then you could collect some sweet coin with Me being lazy and not bathing.

Sincerely,
Other Me

Posted by: Me drinks Pee on November 9, 2006 03:39 PM
14. Wow, I thought you folks on the right were just stupid, but it turns out you're stupid and mean.

It's called humor. It's used to lighten the moment occasionally. Something Liberals apparently aren't too very familiar with.

Posted by: swassociates on November 9, 2006 03:40 PM
15. Get a car, much more convenient. Buses are public, so they have to accommodate everyone since they are paid for with our tax dollars and subject to ADA. Sort of like Public Education. Don't like the crap they are serving, go to a private school. Metro Vans solve the problem, and so in that sense, there is a solution that is less disruptive to average non-disabled person. However, I've got a big problem paying for two bus services. That's BS for the rest of us that drive cars.

I think that if you want to take public transit, you should be subject to all of the hassles, delays, handicapped delays, full unsubsidized fare, etc. There's a cost for everything, progressives want to hide it, but that doesn't make it go away.

Classic that this appeared on the Slog. Progressive Socialists, they are always looking for a way to have their cake and eat it too.

Posted by: Jeff B. on November 9, 2006 03:40 PM
16. I am sure there is a clever way that the wheelchair loading process could be improved. (Hint Hint UW Engineering students!) This is exactally the sort of thing they do on Monster Garage all the time. I am certain that the folks requiring extra help don't like the wait either. Instead of a painfully slow ramp, why not use hydraulics on the suspension like the lowriders. They can raise and lower a hell of a lot faster than the moving ramp. They are so widely used that the cost is also probably similar to that of the ramp.

Posted by: Adam on November 9, 2006 03:43 PM
17. Since I'm a Conservative I'm always in a rush to work so I can get started stealing from the elderly, school children, and the poor.

Posted by: swassociates on November 9, 2006 03:44 PM
18. David Sucher at #92 had the perfect solution for his utopies- everyone over the age of 50 gets shuttled to the edge of the world to fend for themselves, so the young can live their dreams. Just like the Eskimos.

That was so STRANGER that I broke out laughing.

Posted by: swatter on November 9, 2006 03:44 PM
19. SWAssociates. Good to see you got your mind right. Progressives see an unwillingness to give taxes, death taxes and a general subservience to the greater good as stealing. And until Tuesday, Democracy had been stolen too.

Posted by: Jeff B. on November 9, 2006 03:50 PM
20. In the Soviet of Washington, the majority is to be ignored and only extreme minorities to be treated with dignity and funding lavished upon.

Metro buses/disabled are exactly the same as WSDOT/HOV lanes/bike lanes/squirrel bridges over I90.

So get used to it, complainers........shut up.....get out of your cars and onto buses that take 1 1/2 hrs.....celebrate minority inconvenience at your expense....wheelchairophobic bigot....you are probably homophobic too.......

Posted by: Hank on November 9, 2006 03:56 PM
21. If they were institutionanilized like they should be this wouldn't be a problem. Damn Liberals!

Oh, and I had to laugh picturing this!

"One solution would be to install hooks on all wheelchairs. The bus could drag a cable and hook them similar to the flight line on an aircraft carrier. Everybody wins"

Posted by: peterpickle on November 9, 2006 03:58 PM
22. personally, I like the idea of velcro. . . hum?

Posted by: the duke on November 9, 2006 04:15 PM
23. What?? This is the Socialist State of Washington. All misery must be shared equally. You are the problem because you are unwilling to share misery from strangers.

Posted by: Bruce Allen on November 9, 2006 04:18 PM
24. Classic that this appeared on the Slog. Progressive Socialists, they are always looking for a way to have their cake and eat it too.

Maybe they should look to their comrades in North Korea for the solution: escorting the handicapped and disabled out of town for execution.

http://freekorea.us/?p=5970

Posted by: lunaslide on November 9, 2006 04:25 PM
25. I took the bus a few times in college- this exact experience is why it was a few times. Problem has to be solved for public transit to be viable.

On the other hand- I'd rather be the guy late because of the guy in the wheel chair, than be the guy in the wheel chair.

Be thankful for what you've got and patient with those that don't.

Posted by: Andy on November 9, 2006 04:53 PM
26. The irony of this is that the article is from the leftest of all, the Strangers. Aren't liberals all for tolerance and accommodating the weak, poor, etc?

If SoundPolitics had written the same exact thing, the comments would have been laced with profanity chastizing the lack of compassion, heartlessness, etc.

Posted by: C. Oh on November 9, 2006 05:12 PM
27. Like I taught my daughter:

"Only poor people and college students ride the bus"

She took her Jeep Cherokee to college.

Posted by: sparkey on November 9, 2006 05:14 PM
28. Andy, I think that's classically wrong thinking. Not that I have anything against those who are handicapped, or that I think we should not have the ADA. But really, why should any of us be beholden or care for anyone else who we don't even know? Until I read this post, I never even knew there was an express bus in Rainier Valley with handicapped folks getting on. But it's precisely the implied guilt that we all are "supposed" to have for the plight of some random person who we don't know that allows Progressivism to flourish.

I think that society has a minimum set of obligations to be provided for equal access, but beyond that, only a society that promotes individual reliance and freedom will ever be successful. Because in the end, we've all got our own problems. Some worse than others but there is no claim that any of us has on any other. Ask Dean Barnett on Townhall.com. He's disabled, but he doesn't want you to be late or feel guilty on his behalf.

It's simply wrong and dangerous to allow some absolute moral authority for any perceived victim. Of course there are exceptions that we all agree to such as pulling over to let an emergency vehicle pass, but there should be no wholesale classism or else there will be an endless supply of newly defined victim classes. That's what Progressives want, and it is the means they will use to control us all if we are not careful.

Posted by: Jeff B. on November 9, 2006 05:23 PM
29. Providing services for the handicapped is a wonderful thing. But sometimes you just need to realize that not everyone can (or should) do everything. Sorry, but if you can't get on/off fast, then skip the express.

I was recently in McMinville visiting the Spruce Goose. The museum folks said they would like to open the cockpit for people to see, but there is no way to make it wheelchair accessable. Therefore, no one can go due to state law. How stupid is that?

Posted by: Seabecker on November 9, 2006 05:26 PM
30. My god people!!! It's not handicapped, it's handi-capable!

Posted by: G Jiggy on November 9, 2006 05:29 PM
31. C. Oh: If SoundPolitics had written the same exact thing, the comments would have been laced with profanity chastizing the lack of compassion, heartlessness, etc.

That charactizes exactly some of the comments on The Stranger.

Posted by: Stefan Sharkansky on November 9, 2006 05:35 PM
32. Imagine this...its mid Aug. in Southern California...you have been waiting in line for three hours at Magic Mountain...it is 110 degrees...you finally get to the front of the line...when a wheelchair bound "Gangsta" and his posse of 20 Home Boys come up to the EXIT door and demands that they be next to ride...and they do.

If "Handy Capable" persons and Blacks want to be treated like equals, make them stand in line just like everyone else!!!

Posted by: Pacific Grove Phlash on November 9, 2006 05:39 PM
33. C Oh @ 26, the Stranger's blog entry does something that SoundPolitics rarely does: it states both sides of the argument and keeps an open mind. Some of the comments are constructive and others are mean, but the original post is well-balanced.

Posted by: Bruce on November 9, 2006 06:00 PM
34. You mean meanies. You Nazi-Capitalist-NeoKKKon-Reactionary-Running Dogs! Drowning people in New Orleans (SO POOR! SO BLACK!) not enough for you meat-eating, fur wearing Fascists?! Now you want to drag Handi-Capable fellow Comrades from busses the way BusHitlers' rascist War Machine launches planes from carriers to bomb innocent brown people and the New Orleans levies! Your Gay-Lesbian-Bi-Transsexual hating God would weep, if He existed.

Posted by: The next ME on November 9, 2006 06:06 PM
35. Look, as someone who has to document employees who are late...I can't take the "my bus was late" reason ever. Even if it's the "my bus was late because we stopped to pick up a bunch of handicap people in wheelchairs" reason/excuse.

Those that are impacted by a late bus can loose their jobs. Yeah, they can arrive early and wait to clock in so they are on time. So much for their quality of life, time with family, etc.

This is why mass transit in the Puget Sound will never work. We are too crippled by bodies of water, elected officials who have grandiose and ill-conceived concepts of what can happen, and unions inflating prices.

To echo an earlier point...how many special access vehicles (CT calls the DART Dial-A-Ride Transit) do you see with individuals in them. I don't see many of them. What I see more??...lines of cars caught behind a bus clogging a road while using it's ADA ramp.

Thanks. I'll stick driving my car and learning side roads if need be.

Posted by: Chris on November 9, 2006 06:12 PM
36. @26 The folks at The Stranger aren't really Progressives, they're just spoiled assholes.

Come on guys, gals and transgendereds you can slag me better than that.

Posted by: me on November 9, 2006 06:18 PM
37. Hmm, I thought Puget Sounders were extremely sensitive and nice. Guess that's when it doesn't impact upon their own bus ride.

Oh well, visionary Sims' new tax will take care of this - won't it?

Posted by: Tyler Durden on November 9, 2006 06:20 PM
38. look get a car.Drive it to a park and ride and ride that seems the park and ride don't stop all the time.or drive to just outside downtown,park and then ride the smelly bus.

Posted by: phred on November 9, 2006 06:22 PM
39. "Well, if Muslims can just stop work because they need to pray, sometimes inhibiting production, if Wickens can stop Halloween, if aethists can stop the Pledge of Allegiance and even Christmas, what's a few minutes late because of some handicapped folks?"

I wasn't aware that any atheist had stopped the pledge of allegiance or Christmas. Didn't you get coal last year? Is that why you are so bitter?

Posted by: pbj on November 9, 2006 06:28 PM
40. I can't believe she even asked that question. But if they're going to offer any bus service to the wheelchair-bound it should be for all lines. I don't ride the bus because it is tres inconvenient to do so, and I refuse to needlessly be beholden to any public transportation unless absolutely necessary or convenient (the only time it has made sense was to go to Husky games and park in the Bellevue Park and Ride and take the bus in). Since she on the other hand is such a believer in public transportation and doesn't like that the disabled ride the same bus as she does, she can ride a bike to work and be thankful that she is able to do so. how's that--tough enough for ya'?

Posted by: Misty on November 9, 2006 06:49 PM
41. On another note...

Notice those yellow bumpy things that are being put down at crosswalks? They are purported to be there for the blind. The company that makes them lobbied for their mandate. Many blind organizations are upset that they were used to mandate these things. All they do now is cost more money per crosswalk.

Posted by: William on November 9, 2006 06:50 PM
42. Actually, William that sounds like a good idea to use those things on the crosswalks for that very reason.

Posted by: Michele on November 9, 2006 06:58 PM
43. As one who takes an express bus, the one thing that gripes my wagger are the dimwits who get on the express and then have a fit because the driver won't let them off at a non-express stop. Grrrr. Geez, folks, how many more "Express" signs have to be put on the bus to get your attention????

That said, I can understand why people, handicap or otherwise, get on the first bus that will take them where they need to go. If I am not able to get my normal express bus home, I know it will be at least 45 minutes before the next one shows up because the one scheduled in between is a consistent no show.

As for the Access system, you need to make reservations and there aren't enough vans to go around. My grandma finally gave up on it and went with the taxi scrip program instead.

Posted by: Burdabee on November 9, 2006 09:01 PM
44. I saw on TV they have these catapult thingys that can toss a pumpkin like 100 yards. Why can't they come up with something like that for handicap people to get them over Lake Washington?

Posted by: Pete on November 9, 2006 09:56 PM
45. Access requires a reservation, is there a wait list? I thought they were on demand, since I've seen them regularly delivering a single child to private elementary school & other frivelous destinations.

Pete...my teens want to ride that one!

Posted by: dl on November 9, 2006 10:36 PM
46. My grandma has since moved into assisted living, so it has been a few years. You have to meet certain qualifications for the Access service, but I don't know what they currently are. Grandma was convinced the taxis were usually less hassle, but it could also depend on where one lives.

Posted by: Burdabee on November 9, 2006 11:16 PM
47. We must always strive to provide equal access, especially for our less mobile citizens. The question you should be asking yourself is whether or not the express service is worth the hassle, not whether or not certain passengers should be banned. If you find public transit to be such an inconvenience - in comparison to driving i find it quite relaxed - hop in a car. It's that simple.

Posted by: chas on November 9, 2006 11:39 PM
48. Now if we all get out of our cars and ride the bus like Ron Sims wants us to, then there won't be any room on the bus for the handicapped. Or perhaps hey can just roll down the empty roads once we're all on the mass transit?

Posted by: Ken on November 10, 2006 07:59 AM
49. You are all wrong about this. Park the transit busses and just use the Dial-a-Bus program. Get ready to go to work, call Dial-a-Bus. Get there on time and everyone has equal access to "mass" transportation. Sounds like a Win-Win for Social utopia!

Posted by: Old Sgt on November 10, 2006 08:13 AM
50. Access does indeed exist. I have a friend who NEEDS that service but there are real problems with it.

She has to know days in advance when she has to go someplace, which is not always possible. She ends up sitting outside for the window when the access bus is supposed to show up and it is not uncommonly late and sometimes there is just no point to is as she can't get to the appointment in a reasonable time.

It is a great idea, but in reality is is such a mess as to be close to useless.

The "qualification" for access service is also a nightmare, but from the few times I have ridden with her as her caregiver most of the people I see on the access buss I can't imagine a reason why they could not take a regular bus. Abuse of the situation seems to be rife even with the qualification of need.

The ones that do not make me happy are the ones who have to be chased down when the bus gets there or just don't show, wasting everyones time (and $$$).

The more I see of public transportation convinces me that it is another one of the great socialist ideas that just does not work here. Not even to mention the busses that run empty (or so close to it) except at rush hours that they are overall wasting more fuel than 10 cars would.

sheesh :-).

Posted by: Fox3 on November 10, 2006 12:03 PM
51. In the comments I found this gem: "And this is what's so powerful about mass transit (rail transit). It's not just about getting people from where they already live to where they already work. It has the power to shape people live and work."

I could not even start to count the problems with the above statement, however I think this quote from Richard Rumbold (1622-1685), British soldier reetty sums my objections as well as any long winded refutation I couls assemble: QUOTATION: "I never could believe that Providence had sent a few men into the world, ready booted and spurred to ride, and millions ready saddled and bridled to be ridden."

Posted by: JDH on November 10, 2006 01:40 PM
52. Pardon me for posting twice, I corrected the spelling here.

In the comments I found this gem: "And this is what's so powerful about mass transit (rail transit). It's not just about getting people from where they already live to where they already work. It has the power to shape people live and work."

I could not even start to count the problems with the above statement, however I think this quote from Richard Rumbold (1622-1685), British soldier pretty sums my objections as well as any long winded refutation I could assemble: QUOTATION: "I never could believe that Providence had sent a few men into the world, ready booted and spurred to ride, and millions ready saddled and bridled to be ridden."

Posted by: JDH on November 10, 2006 01:42 PM
53. My experience, years ago, with a fifteen minute commute by car that morphed into an hour and a half odyssey (including a mile and a half walk back from the nearest stop), has made me a dedicated car user for life. Buses aren't bad, in and of themselves (the reason I had to use a bus that day was because my car broke down), but they are demanding of a certain level of tolerance and flexibility that I have decided is incompatible with my lifestyle. So I drive, and make sacrifices so i continue to drive. Those who use buses must do the same.

Posted by: CarNDriver on November 11, 2006 07:01 PM
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