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Facing the front on the Bus


In a decision handed down on 28 August 2008, the Equal Opportunity Tribunal said that requiring a person in a wheelchair to sit facing the rear of a bus may be discriminatory.  The Tribunal also said that having a canopy on a wheelchair does not necessarily make a wheelchair unsafe for bus travel. 

While the person who lodged the complaint was ultimately unsuccessful at the Tribunal, Acting Commissioner Anne Burgess said "Access to public transport is essential for people with a disability to participate in the community.  This decision could lead the way for people in wheelchairs who feel they have the right to choose which way they face on the bus."