The EOC Gives Legal Assistance in Disability Discrimination Case – provision of public transport service
The Equal Opportunities Commission (EOC) has issued today (29 July 2016) legal proceedings in the District Court under the Disability Discrimination Ordinance, Cap. 487, on behalf of a person with impaired physical mobility. The Claimant and his wife are both motor wheelchair users, and they have difficulties in crossing the platform gap at some of the MTR stations.
The MTR Corporation Limited has implemented a policy to assist wheelchair users to overcome the platform gap by arranging staff to place a portable ramp over the gap. However, this assistance is provided to only one wheelchair user per train each time and only for the first carriage of the train (“the Policy”). Others wheelchair users have to board or get off the train using other carriages without assistance. Because of the Policy, the Claimant and his wife always have to travel in separate trains irrespective of the crowdedness of a train, resulting in delay of their train journey. The Claimant alleged that the Policy is discriminatory in that he is not allowed to travel in the same way as non-wheelchair users who can board and travel with their associates in the same train.
The EOC has granted legal assistance in this case in order to highlight the importance of equality in access to public transport for people with a disability. By taking this case to the court, the EOC hopes to raise public awareness on this issue and the need for improvement. The EOC will continue to work with different sectors towards eliminating disability discrimination in the provision of barrier-free transportation.
For media enquiries, please contact Mr. Sam HO at 2106-2187.
Equal Opportunities Commission
29 July 2016