We recently published a news item about First Buses’ updated app which gives real-time updates for passengers on the availability of seats on approaching buses, plus whether a bus’s wheelchair space is currently occupied by a wheelchair user.
This is clearly useful and reassuring for someone waiting for a bus. First Buses have also told us that the wheelchair space will not register as “occupied” unless its a genuine wheelchair user occupying it. Prams, pushchairs and other users, don’t register and bus drivers have been trained to ask them to move is a wheelchair user wants to get on the bus and use the space. First Buses pointed out that very occasionally “awkward” passengers with pushchairs might refuse to move, but that every effort is made to make spaces available first and foremost for wheelchair users.
First Buses went on to explain that, despite the special safety measures in place because of Coronavirus, bus drivers are still providing support for wheelchair users as they get on and off buses, providing ramps and assistance as usual. Bus drivers are provided with masks and, whilst they are not required to wear them whilst driving, they are trained to wear them whilst assisting passengers.
Finally, First Buses are keen to hear feedback on their App from disabled users – you can do this via their website’s App info section, or via the app itself