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Greece’s Public transport means may refuse boarding of people with disabilities AMEA

Instead of banning public transport means  when they have no infrastructure for people with disabilities, Greece’s Transport Ministry allows drivers of public transport means to refuse boarding of disabled people on public transport if the infrastructure is not suitable.

In the event that the transport infrastructure does not comply with the international requirements for the transport of disabled persons, a ministerial decision stated in a legislation published short before the end of 2023, transport news website athenstransport.com reported on Wednesday.

In the sense of the usual Greek paradox, at the same time, the new Regulation of Passenger Rights on regular and special lines by means of public transport (buses, trolleys) and means of fixed track (metro, tram), every citizen, and especially disabled persons or persons with reduced mobility, has the right to board and uses, without any direct or indirect discrimination, public road means of transport and means of fixed track by paying the fee defined by the legislation, per category of means of transport.

Yet, the Legislation expressly also states that the refusal to reserve and issue tickets as well as the refusal of boarding to persons due to disability or reduced mobility is exceptionally permitted, in the event that this is not safe and operationally possible “and in order for the carriers to comply with the applicable safety requirements laid down by international, EU or national law and health and safety requirements laid down by competent authorities or where the design of the vehicle or the infrastructure, including bus stops and terminals or departure areas.”‘

The Ministry of Infrastructure and Transport is proceeding with the introduction of fines as well as compensation to Persons with Disabilities for not serving them in the Means of Public Transport.

It is noted that transport carriers are obliged, among others, to:

  • take measures to ensure accessibility to transport for people with disabilities and reduced mobility and in general for those who need help (e.g. pregnant women, disabled, elderly, small children) and to encourage the use of Urban Transport by people that’s all.
  • ensure the operation of the infrastructures that exist in the network of the Instrument for which they are responsible, as well as in the relevant public reception facilities, so that accessibility is possible for people with disabilities, etc.
  • take care of the marking of seats inside the vehicles and wagons for the above persons.
  • ensure that such persons comply with applicable security requirements set out in international, European or national law or health and safety requirements set out by competent authorities
  • establish guidelines and training procedures for staff who have direct contact with the passenger public for disability awareness
  • drivers in turn must, among other things, show special attention when boarding disabled people or people with reduced mobility and ensure their safe transport, such as giving up a seat and securing a wheelchair and recommending
  • passengers to give up their seat to people who need assistance, such as pregnant women, the elderly and disabled.

Laws and government drum-beat statements on the protection of disable people as PM Mitsotakis heralded on Dec 2023: “Central obligation of the state, people with disabilities to achieve the position they are entitled to in life.”

Main thing, however, people with disabilities stay home and don’t seek to go around with public transport means as the gov’t does not want to spend money on upgrading of public transport means…

PS Waiting for mass lawsuits by organizations of people with disabilities to EU courts accusing the Greek state of “pure discrimination.”

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2 comments

  1. Here in Greece the bus driver is a CEO, he and his fellow drivers stack the schedules as fill better in order to have less stops and faster rides in order to have more break time and their shift change on the fly (at the bus stop not a hub). Acceleration and braking is intense as they please since they don’t really care about their customers. (Even for them since they are not wearing a seatbelt). They do not want to check the ticket / fare is canceled (the front doors are closed since covid). No feedback no interest , just their salary. (Scheduling / Bus Tempratures etc). On the other side there is still luck. No major accidents or known bad events. Surveys / feedback for service improvement and questionnaires are just for fools play. Also majority of customers are poor / foreigners (language) / scared so probably the system has to default a few more times to get straight.
    Unfortunately by bad drivers you might end handicap.

  2. This is disgusting and should be illegal ! Which century are we living in here in Greece ?