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‘As if I wasn’t there’: one disabled rider’s experience with the T

The new Green Line station at Lechmere in Cambridge.Jonathan Wiggs/Globe Staff

As a person who uses a motorized wheelchair and relies on accessible public transit, I resonate strongly with Alex Green’s portrayal of the MBTA as separate and not equal systems for disabled people during the subway shutdown (“What it means when the T doesn’t see disability,” Opinion, Sept. 15).

On Aug. 23, the second day of the Green Line closure, my personal care attendant (PCA) and I arrived at Lechmere Station only to find that the replacement shuttle buses were apparently inaccessible. “She can’t board these coach buses; we’ll have to call for a low-rise bus,” a staff member said to my PCA, as if I wasn’t there.


After the staff member made the call, I asked him about the waiting time. He responded — to my PCA — that he wasn’t sure but could call again to ask. I replied that I would like him to do that, but he waited until my PCA also replied.

He never made eye contact with me.

I later learned that the coach buses were accessible but it would be “too hard to let her board them.”

A shutdown of the subway does not excuse a shutdown of respect. The T has a responsibility to ensure access and dignity for its disabled riders.

Dianna Hu


Boston Center for Independent Living