TIL a bus driver in Paris kicked all the passengers out when they refused to make space for a wheelchair bound man

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He got to be heroic AND he got to be rude! A Frenchman’s dream >:)


I kicked an “older” couple off my bus one time when they yelled at a regular of mine, a teenage girl with some sort of bone and joint disease to get up out of the front seats. There were two perfectly good seats one row back that was less than 4 feet from where they were standing. And I mean they screamed at this poor girl and brought her to tears. She willingly got up sobbing. I brought the bus to the gentlest of stops and put it in park. Just as this boozy lowlife couple started to sit down I told them “This is where you get off.” “She’s a kid! She should be at the back! We’re old! These seats are for us!” “No, those seats are for ADA passengers.” “Yeah but she’s a healthy kid! She got up just fine!” “Get off of my bus.” They got off cussing and complaining and calling me every name in the book. I finally got a word in edge wise: “Remember, not all disabilities can be seen with the naked eye. One ADA passenger doesn’t have to give their seat up for another. They’re entitled to sit there.” Poor girl was still crying when I dropped her off at the transit center. I never saw her on the route after that. I think that boozy couple traumatized her. Pisses me off years later.


I was blown away about what a miserable experience public transit was in Paris after hearing everybody talk about it how great it is. By the time I went there, every other transit system I had ever been on was perfectly comfortable giving you a tap card that let you pay to get on anything the city drives around town all day. Paris gave us these awful fucking arcade tokens that work off some French logic on when you need to crop up another or go fuck yourself to transfer from one mode of transit to another. I have no idea why. Turf war between train and bus drivers maybe? Twice over a train stopped in a tunnel somewhere, which is how I found out you could spit roast a chicken on the hand rails in a Paris train tunnel because everybody immediately started getting baked alive. To be fair this was during the 2019 heatwave and the French seem to believe air conditioning is witchcraft, so this might be a more severe issue nowadays. I don’t know much French, so I usually figured out that an announcement meant a train wasn’t coming if somebody on my platform started throwing a tantrum, because someone *always* fucking did. Nothing got stolen at least, because I was warned ahead of time about that and kept a bag. They’re not big on ding dongs when the door’s about to close either, because I saw at least one other group of people get divided by one of the double decker RER trains slamming shut between them like they walked into a spy trap. When we left the airport in Paris, somebody tried to force their way into our taxi and demand we give it to them, which the taxi driver wasn’t having. The taxi driver then charged us 95 euros for an airport fare, but at least I got the number and our host helped us file it after she told us that was fraud. What was my point again? Right, this story reminded me of that because I saw a lot of similar drama in a fairly short period of time while I was there.


Whenever I’ve seen a whole busload of people refuse to move for someone – it’s always been because they had nowhere to move *to*.


FYI, the phrase “wheelchair user” is generally preferred to “wheelchair-bound”. Wheelchairs are tools that help people get around, not a device that people are stuck in.