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.
Boston Center for Independent Living