A Start to Accessible Buses

A women using a wheelchair enters a bus on a ramp and a companion pushes her wheelchair.

 

  • The Accomplishment

  • What Worked

  • About the Author

As in other countries, people with disabilities in Vietnam have fewer opportunities to go to school, participate in the labor market, access health services, or use public transportation. This situation is due to a lack of: qualified human resources, understanding the benefits of an accessible infrastructure, assistive devices, and awareness on disability issues.

Public areas and transportation that are inaccessible for people with disabilities are particularly problematic, as these conditions prevent them from living independently. For example, public buses do not have accessible ramps for wheelchair users and people with disabilities are often neglected at bus stops because of the misconception of drivers. As a result, people with disabilities miss their school and jobs.

At present the largest city of Vietnam, Ho Chi Minh City, has no metro system, although plans and construction are underway. Therefore, the public transportation system really centers on the city’s extensive bus network. Ho Chi Minh City has a comprehensive network of over 150 bus routes with 2,500 buses, but they are inaccessible for people with disabilities as there are no ramps or accessible bus stops.

To address this issue, a disability-led NGO formed an accessibility task force to outreach to relevant government offices. As a result of their efforts two fully accessible buses were added to the city’s fleet and bus operators now receive disability trainings.

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