Bus firm’s bid to help disabled

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Bus operator First Glasgow is today flagging up a new initiative designed to improve public transport conditions for disabled customer.

As today (December 3) is International Day of People with Disabilities) it is trailing the launch of a video explaining its Journey Cards scheme – which has been described as “outstanding” by Disability Action Alliance.

The cards allow the passenger to discreetly communicate a specific message to the driverm including –

‘Please scan my pass for me’

‘Please count out my change with me’

‘Please speak slowly, I am hard of hearing’

‘Please wait for me to sit down’

‘Please be patient, I have a hidden disability’, which can include the effects of Alzheimer’s for instance.

‘Please tell me when we reach my destination’ – the passenger can fill this in with the appropriate location.  There are also sections where the customer can write his/her own message to the driver.

Since re-launching, many passengers in the First Glasgow area are said to have used the cards successfully.

Disability Action Alliance, who worked on the scheme with First Bus and another charity, Age UK, has written to the Prime Minister, the Disabilities Minister and UK Transport Minister, highlighting the ‘outstanding’ example of initiative and commitment from First Bus.

Stephen Brookes MBE, transport project lead from the Disability Action Alliance said: “We widely endorse First Bus’s Safe Journey Cards and Better Journey Cards and will be working with the company on a new video.

“Right across the country we receive extremely positive feedback about the Journey Cards.

“Quite simply they are enabling people with disabilities, particularly those with hidden disabilities, to access the bus with greater confidence.

“Without the cards, we know that many of our members would not use the bus and effectively become isolated.

Alex Perry, interim managing director of First Glasgow, said: “Our Journey Cards are a really effective means of discreetly communicating with our drivers.

“Quite often people want to ask for assistance, but they’re unsure how best to do it. While customers can, of course, just ask for any help they need, not everyone finds this easy, or is able to speak clearly.”

Safe Journey Cards and Better Journey Cards are free and available from First Glasgow, and can be printed directly by accessing these links:

https://www.firstgroup.com/uploads/node_images/Safe_Journey_Card.pdf

https://www.firstgroup.com/uploads/node_images/Better_Journey_card.pdf

Find out more about the cards on the First Glasgow website.