Disabled Friendly Bus Test Ride

 Rooms for Improvement

 (Note: Photos are not in satisfactory condition)



Test ride on the newly introduced disabled friendly bus


The Rapid Penang bus which emphasizes on disabled friendly has been plying the road, but it is a question to what extent how friendly the bus is. In order to find out, the President of the Society of Disabled Persons Penang, Madam Teh Lay Kuan took a test ride on the bus in wheel chair and found that there are still rooms for improvement for the 9 disabled friendly buses.

On the invitation and request of Guangming Daily newspaper, she put aside her clutches and took the bus test ride starting from the ferry bus terminal. The conclusion of her trial ride was that the periodical arrival time of 10 minutes was on schedule, bus driver was friendly in helping the wheel chair bound disabled in boarding the bus, the disabled friendly features was satisfactory, overall the disabled could feel the sincerity and friendliness of Rapid Penang in introducing the buses. 

However, she pointed out that it was a bit taxing for the driver who had to lower down the boarding platform himself and to push the disabled on board, this was especially bad for the elder driver. Therefore she suggested to Rapid Penang to have an automated boarding platform in order to relieve the burden of the driver.

At the same time she also suggested to Rapid Penang to increase the space of the ¡°Disabled Friend Corner¡± to cater for 2 persons where this would enable the disabled to go out with another partner. Due consideration should be given to body width of electrified wheel chair as it is normally wider than the normal wheel chair where this point seemed to have been overlooked in the design of the ¡°Disabled Friend Corner¡±.

Nevertheless, she stressed that it is quite considerate on the part of Rapid Penang in the specially allocated corner for the disabled with the fixing of safety belt to prevent wheel chair from swinging and low level stop bell to enable the disabled to inform the driver on the next station to stop.   


Uplifting on the bus stop and walkway

Madam Teh Lay Kuan also pointed out that bus terminal, road, walkway and pedestrian walkway are still to be improved to fulfill the disabled friendly standard in order to reduce the problems being faced by the disabled. Else the disabled would still have to rely on others in their outing and making them not able to be self reliant.

Madam Teh Lay Kuan felt that full cooperation from all parties is needed for the transportation system implemented for the disabled. This is for example, the help from the bus driver and the understanding of the public are needed for the smooth riding of bus by the disabled.

She said that bus driver should have a caring attitude and good emotional control. The serving attitude of the driver is important where there is a possibility that maybe due to having a bad day, the driver may feel helping the disabled is a troublesome thing. 

She pointed out that the disabled persons still face the problem of the parking lot catered for them being occupied by the non-disabled, thus creating a lot of inconveniences to the disabled. Due to the difficulty to find a parking lot, the disabled is sometimes resorted to riding a motorcycle, therefore she sought the understanding of the public on the difficulties being faced by the disabled on the parking lot.  


Aluminum based bus structure enable a more stable ride

There are 9 Rapid Penang disabled friendly equipped buses with route number 101 originated from Europe. The bus is made of a type of shock resistant and light weight aluminum, enabling a smoother ride. Rapid Penang is the first state in Malaysia that adopts this type of aluminum based bus structure. A lower body structure is suitable for wheel chair bound passenger, the elderly, children and other disabled persons.

Madam Teh Lay Kuan mentioned that the Society of Disabled Persons Penang is very happy on the introduction of the 9 disabled friendly bus by Rapid Penang as the grievance of the disabled is being looked into and the plight of the disabled is being recognized. With the disabled friendly bus plying the road, it does bring conveniences to the disabled in certain extent.

It is better than non for upgrading and improving the living and welfare of the under privileged. As Rapid Penang has just introduced the disabled friendly bus, there is bound to have rooms for improvement and it takes time to do that.  

She hoped that the Penang City Council and the relevant authorities can cooperate to uplift the surrounding, transportation, welfare and other conveniences, especially fulfilling the requirement of the disabled, to enable the disabled to be self reliant in their outing. 


Waiting for the disabled friendly bus at the ferry terminal.

Bus checked to be following the schedule of 10 minutes interval.
Bus driver lowering the boarding platform. Friendly bus driver pushing the wheel chair on board the bus.
Bus driver helping in securing the safety belt. Suggestion: A larger space to be catered for the "Disabled Friend Corner".