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January 17, 2004

'Thanks for providing facilities forn disabled'

From: Jakarta Post, Indonesia - Jan 17, 2004

Apart from the fanfare at the launch of the controversial busway project on Thursday, people with disabilities expressed their gratitude for the provision of wheelchair ramps and comfortable shelters. Still, some of the disabled people The Jakarta Post spoke with pointed out a few flaws here and there.

Edwin CP Malkan, is a paraplegic and a member of the Indonesian Paraplegic Association who tried the busway on opening day:

The buses are fine and comfortable; it's the ramps leading to the shelters and the turnstiles at the shelters which are still problematic for me, and for fellow paraplegics.

The ramps are too steep, while the turnstiles are too narrow for wheelchairs to pass through.

But aside from that, I think the busway is a real improvement in providing a more humane and paraplegic-concerned mode of transportation in the city.

Siswadi, is the president of the Indonesian Disabled People's Association (APCI):

On behalf of all Indonesian disabled people, particularly those in Jakarta, I'd like to thank the city administration for providing facilities for the disabled on the busway.

However, we also hope that this is not the only project in which the administration pays attention to the needs of disabled people. We hope that all buildings and infrastructure in the city eventually provide special facilities for the disabled.

The busway itself should fully operate an audio and visual display of which shelter it is stopping at, so the visually impaired, the deaf, and the mute can know where they are and when to exit the bus.

And what is more important, I think, is the attitude of society towards the disabled people and the special facilities for disabled people. Please prioritize disabled people first when queueing, for example, and do not use the special facilities provided for disabled people.

-- The Jakarta Post

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