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Old 10-08-2012, 07:13 AM   #1
Eliza32
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So...why do wheelchairs/scooters get priority boarding?

Please don't flame me for this, but I have read so many threads that complain about this happening
Is there a law in the US that says Disney must board them first on their buses?
I don't understand why they can't wait in line with everyone else then board the next available bus. Maybe I'm being naive???? We usually have a car when we go to Disney, so don't really use the buses, but there seems to be more and more threads on this subject.
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Old 10-08-2012, 07:17 AM   #2
seashoreCM
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More maneuvering room for the wheelchair when the bus is still empty.

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Let me now take you on a journey into your imagination.

Suppose that wheelchair guests waited in line with "everybody else." When a wheelchair guest gets to the front of the line and for some reason, any reason, he could not get on the bus and be strapped down in an appropriate location, the bus driver closes the door and drives on without taking anybody else.

Ideally only enough others to help get the wheelchair into the bus should accompany the wheelchair guest; other family members able to proceed through the regular line on their own should wait in the regular line.

Now back to reality.

Disney has some freedom to make its own rules without having a federal law to lean on. For example it is not necessary to have a Florida law that partially used admission tickets may not be given to someone else to use.
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Old 10-08-2012, 07:44 AM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Eliza32 View Post
Please don't flame me for this, but I have read so many threads that complain about this happening
Is there a law in the US that says Disney must board them first on their buses?
I don't understand why they can't wait in line with everyone else then board the next available bus. Maybe I'm being naive???? We usually have a car when we go to Disney, so don't really use the buses, but there seems to be more and more threads on this subject.
Because there are very few spots on the bus that scooters and wheelchairs can be strapped down to.. Trying to load a scooter or wheelchair with people filling the bus would be almost impossible and unsafe.

Think WDW also has their own rule that if there is a scooter or chair waiting at a stop and people refuse to move out of the seats that are needed for the straps, even if there is no one else on the bus ie: the rest of the seats are empty, the driver will close the doors and drive off, they wont fill the bus with other waiting people.. (I have heard that, but not sure if it's official policy or not)
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Old 10-08-2012, 07:57 AM   #4
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Originally Posted by dburg30 View Post
Because there are very few spots on the bus that scooters and wheelchairs can be strapped down to.. Trying to load a scooter or wheelchair with people filling the bus would be almost impossible and unsafe.

Think WDW also has their own rule that if there is a scooter or chair waiting at a stop and people refuse to move out of the seats that are needed for the straps, even if there is no one else on the bus ie: the rest of the seats are empty, the driver will close the doors and drive off, they wont fill the bus with other waiting people.. (I have heard that, but not sure if it's official policy or not)
What kind of Lowlife would not get up from a wheelchair spot. They are clearly marked.
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Old 10-08-2012, 08:09 AM   #5
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There's also a somewhat recent issue with drivers claiming the wheelchair ramp or lift doesn't work. Someone on the disABILITIES board reported a wait of over three hours to get on a bus to MNSSHP - despite repeated sojourns from a member of their party to the Front Desk. Driver after driver had a bus that was either too full, or the ramp was broken.

So, waiting for the "next" bus is very different for someone on wheels than for someone who just doesn't want to stand. And it's almost amusing how many people are bothered by the guests on wheels boarding the bus first, but nobody gives a whit that they're the last ones to debark.
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Old 10-08-2012, 08:24 AM   #6
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Originally Posted by Moparlar View Post
What kind of Lowlife would not get up from a wheelchair spot. They are clearly marked.
Yes they are clearly marked, but I've heard of it happening.. Maybe one of those urban legend things, but I have a feeling it has happened..
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Old 10-08-2012, 11:38 AM   #7
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I think this is a hot topic. I have no problem with a wheelchair boarding first and completely understand why. My problem is when you are already waiting in line at the end of the night and not even inside the ropes yet and you watch a wheelchair just pull up and board the next bus taking with them up to 6 other people i'm sorry but that is wrong. Let them wait in line or at least their family wait in line. When the family reaches the front of the line to board then let them all get on like the rest of us. Some people choose to step aside and wait for a bus so they can sit the family of the disabled can do the same thing so they can get on first too.
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Old 10-08-2012, 12:03 PM   #8
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Another thing Disney could do is, at certain stops, require instead of forbid the driver to say something like, "This bus is not going to depart until I see that the guest in the wheelchair is safely aboard another bus" and act accordingly. This would be restricted to areas where other buses can maneuver around a stopped bus.
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Old 10-11-2012, 01:41 PM   #9
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[QUOTE=punn;46383372 When the family reaches the front of the line to board then let them all get on like the rest of us. [/QUOTE]

So the rest of the family wait in line lets say (you used 6) they are the 35th to 40th people in line, imagine how difficult its going to be to load that chair now, so now should they have to wait for yet another bus? .

Sadly its not that simple as waiting like the rest of us as you put it, the rest of us have a choice of aprrox 50 seats, and up to 20 standing, wheelchairs have only 2 spots.
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Old 10-11-2012, 06:45 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by punn View Post
I think this is a hot topic. I have no problem with a wheelchair boarding first and completely understand why. My problem is when you are already waiting in line at the end of the night and not even inside the ropes yet and you watch a wheelchair just pull up and board the next bus taking with them up to 6 other people i'm sorry but that is wrong. Let them wait in line or at least their family wait in line. When the family reaches the front of the line to board then let them all get on like the rest of us. Some people choose to step aside and wait for a bus so they can sit the family of the disabled can do the same thing so they can get on first too.
Yup, we waited over an hour for a bus to AK in the morning to make our 8am dining reservations. Got there at 6:45, still there at 7:45. Bus showed up, just as an ECV family got there, and they boarded first, leaving the rest of the families to duke it out over who was going to make their reservations and who wasn't.
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Old 10-13-2012, 07:04 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by punn
I think this is a hot topic. I have no problem with a wheelchair boarding first and completely understand why. My problem is when you are already waiting in line at the end of the night and not even inside the ropes yet and you watch a wheelchair just pull up and board the next bus taking with them up to 6 other people i'm sorry but that is wrong. Let them wait in line or at least their family wait in line. When the family reaches the front of the line to board then let them all get on like the rest of us. Some people choose to step aside and wait for a bus so they can sit the family of the disabled can do the same thing so they can get on first too.
Two trips ago we had ECVs roll up right before a bus came at least three times. On one occasion we had already been waiting for a bus for about 20-25 minutes, and one family/group had so many people most of the line had to wait for another bus. There has to be a better way to handle the line situation. On our most recent trip we rarely even had ECV riding guests on buses with us, but once the extra time it took to load 2 ECVs allowed us to catch a bus we would have otherwise missed. Score! I guess it all evens out.
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Old 10-10-2012, 11:51 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dburg30 View Post
Yes they are clearly marked, but I've heard of it happening.. Maybe one of those urban legend things, but I have a feeling it has happened..
It's happened. We experienced it last year when my 8 y/o niece (in a wheelchair) was boarding a bus. The person currently sitting the wheelchair seat gave the driver a hard time when she realized she was losing her seat so they could strap my niece's electric chair in.

Seriously, the irony of people boo-hooing on the "unfairness" of having to STAND UP and MOVE for a child bound to a wheelchair absolutely kills me.
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Old 10-09-2012, 12:33 AM   #13
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My mother was using an ecv and we had an instance where the first bus was broken, the 2nd bus was full. The 2nd bus driver called a bus to come just for her that was empty and working. It was really appreciated especially since my mom always felt like the ecv made her into a burden on everyone .
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Old 10-09-2012, 12:58 AM   #14
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My boyfriend uses a power wheelchair, we have been on 11 WDW trips together and used the busses every trip. We have no problem waiting in line at the end of the night with everyone else then break off at the accessible gate. What I have a huge problem with is getting to the front of the line but there are several ECV's/wheelchairs in front of us because Disney likes to double load busses.

Meaning while one bus is in the loading zone, another pulls up beside it and starts loading people, all able bodied because there is no way for the ramp to be let out on the second bus. That means a bus with 2 - 4 wheelchair slots is pulling away over and over again without an ECV/wheelchair in those slots while they have been waiting long after the people that were behind them in the line are well on their way.

This has happened to us time and time again especially at Epcot. I know it is not a great system to let the ECV's/wheelchairs right on the bus, but neither is stacking them up while letting the accessible slots drive away over and over. They should let the first bus fill up, drive off, then the next bus pull right in.
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Old 10-09-2012, 06:47 AM   #15
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Isn't that a possible ADA issue? That there seems to be too few assessable buses (those with a working ramp)? Or worst, could it be the bus drivers didn't want to deal with the ramps?
Could be...would hate for that to be the case, but with all the complaints we see here, about having to wait for ECVs to board first, it's not hard to believe the some bus drivers don't want to hear complaining guests.

Quote:
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The lifts on the old high-floor buses break down pretty regularly, but I think they're down to less than 10% of the fleet now.

All of the low floor buses have ramps that can be operated by hand if the motor is not working. I have seen a ramp physically break, i.e. come off the hinge pins, but only once or twice in 5 years.

It's more common, but still rare, for one of the tie-downs or seat belts to not work properly, but I think that happening on 2 or 3 buses in a row is pretty unlikely. And the first driver of the day is supposed to check them before putting the bus in service, and I'd say 80% of the time maintenance can fix them that morning.

If anyone encounters 2 buses in a row saying the ramp is not working, I would encourage them to ask to speak to a bus manager.
Wow, that's a small percentage for someplace as big as WDW!! I remember being at AKL-Jambo a few years ago. It was late afternoon and we all wanted to get to the MK, and it was starting to rain. Well, there was a family with a parent on an ECV. When the bus got there, the driver got it to 'kneel', the ECV was boarded, we all boarded. Then??? He couldn't get it to back up again!!! Tried for about 5 mins..then had all of us get off the bus and he called for another one. The family with the ECV was not amused. And then they went nutty when they found out that the bus wasn't going to take them to the GF...where they had ADRs. I told them that they could get off the bus and then just take the monorail over to the GF. Nope, they would get wet..they needed a way that they would stay dry. Man, they were hopping mad!!!
But, when we finally pulled away from AKL, that bus was still sitting there, the driver scratching his head.
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