Should buses be modified to take >2 scooters?

Discussion in 'disABILITIES!' started by Simba's Mom, Oct 7, 2018.

  1. cobright

    cobright DIS Veteran

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    Actually, there is a solution of sorts that would do a great deal of good. Unfortunately it would be pilloried in the press and misconstrued so badly as to do more harm than good.

    Disney should sell a premium transportation pass. They've dipped their tow in this pond a little bit with the Minnie Van and the (now suspended) Express Transportation add-on. These services are/were too much and not enough respectively. The Minnie van is nice for spontaneous travel but pricey if needed several times a day each day of your trip. The Express Travel option was cheap (if booking several days) but didn't get you to the parks.

    I would like to see a service like the Express Transportation but also include one scheduled pick-up from the guest's resort to a park and one scheduled pick-up from a park to the guest's resort each day. Require a bit of planning ahead on the guests part but as a result WDW can schedule exactly the number and type of bus needed to eliminate that guests wait during the busiest transportation times. This means no one using this service need stand on sore feet, and enough buses show up to pick up all guests using ecv or wheelies without having to wait. Put a high-ish price tag of $20-$25 a day per person. Maybe add a couple soft-perks to sweeten the deal. Soft-perk is something that might be really cool for the person receiving it but has little to no marginal cost to WDW, like the Annual Pass-holder magnet. Maybe a special souvenir magicband slide.

    The primary upside to this idea is that, from WDW perspective, I think it supports itself financially. And... I think it would be a good enough value that it would be a popular upgrade. The Express Transportation upgrade had a limited appeal and did not get enough paying customers to be financially viable. From the customer point of view, the program I describe would cost similar to taking an Uber to and from the parks (already a popular choice among folks with the scratch to pay it) with advantages over Uber especially for disabled guests.

    The secondary benefit is that to whatever extent this system is used, it relieves pressure on the existing transportation network. Cynics might suggest that Disney would simply reduce the number of standard buses in order to save money. They might, but if the premium service is financially sustainable there would be no real pressure to do so. As it stands, the standard system is overloaded; there isn't a way to add more short term peak capacity (more buses) without paying more. Not only that, but the costs of adding more capacity to the standard system like this rises exponentially. At the same time, the transportation system is a major perk of staying on-site and as it becomes less convenient, Disney may see more guests choosing to stay off-site.

    The downside is obviously ... holy cow, the reaction would likely reference pitchforks and torches; and the disturbing trend we see of Disney charging more money for things that cost them more money to produce, or selling it as an upgrade and thus segregating the guests into elite and plebian castes. Not my personal view. A standard admission today gets me pretty much the same Disney experience as it did in 1983. Actually a much better experience IMO. Nevertheless, this would be one more item on the list trucked out by critics.
     
  2. Sparkly

    Sparkly Starlight, starbright...

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    Perhaps also, able bodied guests should be more patient with scooters getting on the buses. They can just jump on any bus, but my Mum with a scooter sometimes has to wait and wait. It's so stressful using the bus system. And getting QS food.
     
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  4. DisneyOma

    DisneyOma DIS Veteran

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    I agree, but it's a two way street - I've had drivers of ECVs honk and bump into me if I didn't move out of "their way" - we're sharing the pavement, aren't we? And if an ECV user shows up in line at a bus stop when there is already a busload of people in the queue, it can get frustrating to realize that the ECV user and family will get on the bus, take up a lot of space and all get seats even though you've been standing for quite a long time. And if you were near the end of the bus capacity in line, you're waiting for the next bus. I like how the ECVs and wheelchairs stay in the queue at MK until they reach a certain access point. But they only do this at really busy times.
     
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  5. Simba's Mom

    Simba's Mom <font color=green>everything went to "H*** in a ha

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    That's wonderful-both the bus driver's comment and the second bus coming. That's how I thought it was supposed to work, that if ECVs were unable to get on a bus because the spots were taken, they'd call for another bus and it would arrive in a few minutes. Sadly, that's never been the case when I've experienced a full bus-just a wait of 20-25 minutes for the next bus, and hope that that one isn't full too.
     
  6. serenitynow

    serenitynow DIS Veteran

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    There are a couple of reasons ECVs are handled this way. First, it is more difficult to load an ECV with people already on board the bus. You have to pull forward in the aisle, back up and cut the wheel to back into the space. It’s kinda like parallel parking without rear view mirrors. Much easier to do if you don’t have to worry about running over anyone’s toes.

    Second, the ADA requires equal access for those with disabilities on public transportation. Disney meets this legal requirement by reserving two spots on the buses for the disabled. If you look on the bus windows above these two spaces there is a wheelchair symbol above them stating that these spots are reserved for the disabled. It’s like handicapped parking on the bus, the exception being if there are no disabled persons needing these spots, anyone can sit there. No matter when the wheelchair user arrives at the bus stop, they are legally entitled to one of those 2 spots.

    Since there are only two places a disabled person can sit on a Disney bus, be assured that over the course of a day, the disabled wait longer for transportation than everyone else. I understand that after a long day, people get frustrated waiting for a space on the bus. Please don’t resent the disabled for taking a little longer to board the bus and be tied down in one of their two available seats on any bus. If it makes you feel any better, we are the last allowed to leave the bus.

    Sometimes a driver of an ECV honks because they are afraid no one sees them, as people step out in front of them all day long. And sometimes people being people, the ECV driver may just be a jerk. The able bodied members of my family have had the same problem with being run into by strollers. Wheeled vehicles and walking pedestrians can be tough to navigate. Especially at a place like Disney World where there are large crowds, excited children and so many distractions while we are all trying to share the same space.

    I’m sorry that you’ve had some bad experiences with ECVs. Please don’t judge all of us by the few jerks in our midst. Most of us are just trying to make it work in a world not really built for the disabled.
     
  7. serenitynow

    serenitynow DIS Veteran

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    You are absolutely correct. That’s not the way it’s supposed to work. I’m very sorry that you had that experience. I hope you will let Disney know about the way your transportation needs were handled on your visit. They need to do better handling the needs of the disabled on their buses as per your recent experiences. Please email them to bring their attention to the problem.
     
  8. MinnieMSue

    MinnieMSue DIS Veteran

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    At CBR I had my rollator and we were at one of the later bus stops. The MK bus arrived full. The driver told me I had to stand. I said I would wait for the next bus. He said it was going to be awhile for the next bus and he told me it would be full too as probably the next few would be. He said I could stand on his bus or one of the next busses. I stood on his bus. It was awful trying to hold my walker and keep upright. Finally since I was in the aisle near the driver I just opened my walker and put the breaks in and let it fend for itself (it didn’t move during the ride thankfully). It was all I could do not to fall down myself. I have never stayed at a moderate since. My daughter was so traumatized by it she doesn’t want to either. We used to love The moderates. We stay at Pop now. One bus stop makes it easier for us. I regret not saying something to transportation supervisor. It was a very bad experience. Luckily we didn’t have any other bus issues that short stay.
     
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  9. serenitynow

    serenitynow DIS Veteran

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    He was wrong. You were treated badly and I’m sorry you had that experience.
     
  10. MinnieMSue

    MinnieMSue DIS Veteran

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    Yep I know this now but wasn’t aware at the time. It seemed wrong but in the moment I didn’t know what to do. It is honestly my only bad memory from Disney in 15 or so trips. I am sure other negative stuff happened over the years but I usually let stuff go. It really was a sad memory for me. But we still love Disney and keep going back (for now anyway they are getting kind of more than my pocketbook can afford)
     
  11. Hoodie

    Hoodie <font color=purple>Going to BC and GF with one wee

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    Unfortunately we've found this to be more the norm than not. I cracked my tailbone when I was younger and it healed weirdly. The vast majority of the time it causes no or little problems. The one thing that makes it cause unbearable pain is standing on anything moving - buses, trains, monorail, boat, I even had it start twinging on the moving walkway to the People Mover once. It's fine if I can walk and move, but the constant adjustments you make, really unknowingly most of the time, can make my back seize and I become immobile. As such, we often wait for the next bus if the bus is full. Because I don't have (or need) a mobility device, it's just luck of the draw. There's no other bus called, it's just wait for the next and hope for the best. During high volume times, it's not unheard of to wait for 2 or more buses and over an hour just to get on. (this is also why we are likely moving off property for any future trips).
     
  12. arminnie

    arminnie <font color=blue>Tossed the butter kept the gin<br

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    I’ve had to wait for a second bus many a time. The driver always says he is calling for another bus. But I have never once seen an extra bus show up. Sometimes the next bus is 30+ minutes later and the ECV spots are already taken.

    Maybe they do call an extra bus at rope drop or at park closing - both of which I avoid. But I still think of that “extra” bus as really being just imaginary like a unicorn.

    We generally go at least 3 times a year so this is not based on just a random occurrence every few years.
     
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  13. ttintagel

    ttintagel DIS Veteran

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    Yes, that's usually been my experience, too.
     
  14. Simba's Mom

    Simba's Mom <font color=green>everything went to "H*** in a ha

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    LOL-just don't say that to my DGD-she firmly believes in unicorns. The extra bus-not real for us, unfortunately.

    Guess I should just resign myself to do as a PP said-while un-ECV people can allow 60 minutes to get to a park using Disney transportation, for us, the "norm" is more, maybe 90 minutes.
     
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  15. Lilsia

    Lilsia DIS Veteran

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    I don't understand the comment about how it is safer for the person in the ECV to get out and sit in a seat on the bus. I have seen numerous times where after they secure the ECV, the person stays in it and they seat belt them in. They are the only ones who are actually secured on the bus. They do this with wheelchair bound people too. The rest of the people have no seat belt. It should be that the person stays in the ECV and leave the regular bus seats for others. Some of you keep acting as if Dismey is the one deciding all of this. They are just as bound by DOT laws and rules as everyone else. That is why they have people take their kids out of the stroller because it is the law and the driver can actually lose their license. Yes they can probably get buses that can fit more then 3 chairs at 1 time but I am sure they have to take into consideration the amount of time it takes to load them. They have a schedule and have continuous buses coming. It stinks but sometimes we have to wait.
     
  16. maxiesmom

    maxiesmom The Mean Squinty Eye Works

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    It depends on the scooter or ECV. Some are safe for a person to ride in on the bus, some are not.
     
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  17. serenitynow

    serenitynow DIS Veteran

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    I prefer to stay on my ECV and be belted in but if the bus driver asks me to vacate, I do. One bus driver told me that he had a occupied 3 wheel ECV tip over on his bus and now he doesn’t let people remain on the ECV even if they are strapped in with a seatbelt. I don’t know what DOT requires in this situation, but I do whatever the bus driver tells me to, the driver is a professional.

    Remember that in addition to seating, the bus can hold a large number of passengers standing as well, so I’m not sure the extra seat the disabled may occupy has a huge effect on bus passenger capacity.
     
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  18. Lilsia

    Lilsia DIS Veteran

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    What is the determining factor on which is safe? They bring the seat belt up and around and belt a person in. They all seem to be built the same way. Either way, the actual ECV is secured down, how is it any less safe sitting in a secured ECV then sitting in a bus seat with no seat belt? Or standing for that matter. I think it is wonderful that they have ECVs for those who need them. It is also great that Disney provides free bus transportation for people. Lets face it, it is crowded at WDW. Courtesy for others works both ways. Everyone needs to watch out for those in wheelchairs and ECVs and those riding in them should also be mindful of others. During busy bus times people are going to have to wait. Whether you are walking or in an ECV/chair, sometimes it is just too busy for the bus load. People standing would love to have a place to sit or be able to fit into the first bus just as much as those in ECVs would love to be able to get onto the first bus. ECVs take up 3 seats and another if the person gets out. I witnessed an extremely obese couple in their ECVs role right up and have both of them get on the bus when there was a huge line of waiting people. So each ECV took up 3 seats then they got out and each took up 2 seats themselves for a total of 10 seats for 2 people. Then you have those with 6+ family members that get to go on first. If they had buses that would carry more then the 2/3 chairs then that bus would pretty much be filled with those families and not have room for those standing and waiting. Like it or not, the majority of people who use the buses are not in ECVs. And as I mentioned, the amount of time it would take to load and unload a bus of 5/6/7 ECVs would take forever. That is not sustainable because then you know that someone would complain about how long it takes. Not to mention how long the bus would be taking up the bus stop. They need to move a certain amount of people every us load otherwise the system would not work. We would all love to be able to walk right up and have the bus waiting for us and a seat handy and never ever wait for anything ever. But we don't live in this fantasyland. We just all need to be more patient or try to use the buses during the slower times.
     
  19. Lilsia

    Lilsia DIS Veteran

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    That sounds like the bus driver had not secured it properly because they should not tip over.
     
  20. maxiesmom

    maxiesmom The Mean Squinty Eye Works

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    ECVs are not all built the same.

    You are right in that we all need to be more patient using the buses. But I can't begin to tell you how offensive it is that you had to throw in that rude comment about obese people taking up space. Maybe you need to be more patient with everyone, not matter what shape or size.
     
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  21. blondietink

    blondietink DIS Veteran

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    Both of my sons use wheelchairs in the parks due to congenital heart problems. However, they can walk up the few steps onto the buses. I get somewhat annoyed when we are told to go in the scooter entrance before everybody else loads, and then take on our folded wheelchairs when it would actually be faster for everybody if we could take our sons and folded wheelchairs in the front entrance of the buses. We sit with the wheelchairs folded up by our feet and don't take up any space other than what a typical family with a stroller would have.

    The bus drivers usually give a sigh of relief when we fold up the wheelchairs and they realize they won't have to do tie downs, etc.. The scooters and their users can be problematic when the user doesn't know how to park it on a bus.
     
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