Environmental group seeks PWD accessibility in Davao Bus Project

Environmental group seeks PWD accessibility in Davao Bus Project
ADB

A DAVAO City-based environmental group is advocating for accessible buses for persons with disabilities (PWDs) in the Davao Bus Project.

Enp. Lemuel Manalo, program coordinator of Interfacing Development Interventions for Sustainability (Idis), stated in a media interview on Wednesday morning, June 26, 2024, at Ayala Malls Abreeza, that the PWD sector has been neglected in the transportation system for many years.

“For lots of years wala gyud ni siya nahatagan ug pririority in terms of our designs of our jeeps and isa pod didto kung naay reserved seats its infront of the vehicle or PUJ kailangan pa siya isaka or kailangan pa siya i-open and those are very unfriendly design for PWD (For many years, this sector has never been given priority in terms of our jeep designs. Even if there are reserved seats, they are usually at the front of the vehicle or PUJ. PWDs still need to climb up or have them opened, and these designs are very unfriendly for PWDs),” he said. 

Manalo explained that PWDs using crutches or wheelchairs face difficulties accessing the reserved seats at the front, often having to sit at the back with their crutches or wheelchairs hanging outside the PUJ, which poses risks and dangers for them.

He said that they expect the buses for the Davao Bus Project to be equipped with ramps that lower for PWDs boarding the buses, as well as reserved seats for the elderly, pregnant women, and PWDs, making this new mass transportation system accessible to everyone.

While PWD representatives have been involved in dialogues regarding the mass transportation project, Manalo emphasized the need for specific focus group discussions and needs assessment workshops, particularly involving the elderly.

“We hope that the local government unit will organize a needs assessment for this particular sector alone,” he said.   

The Davao Bus Project is an extensive network of 29 routes covering 672 km of roads, connecting key areas within Davao City and extending to Panabo City. At least 1,105 buses will operate along these routes, with over 1,000 bus stops to be constructed. It is expected to operate in 226. RGP

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