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this story is part of the 11-15 Dec 2017 Weekly Hindsight Read the hindsight

Budapest Public Transport is near inacessible to the disabled

Ivett Korösi recommended by Ivett Korösi Nepszava, Hungary

In an interview with Nepszava, Daniel Csango described all the difficulties he and other people with reduced mobility face due to the lack of accessible facilities -- e.g. elevators -- in the Budapest public transport system.

Hungary Signs of the Times

Why this story matters:

health, cities

In an interview with Nepszava, Daniel Csango described all the difficulties he and other people with reduced mobility face due to the lack of accessible facilities -- e.g. elevators -- in the Budapest public transport system.

Csango, however, is very determined: every single day he travels from one end of the Hugarian capital to the other. Without a wheelchair this takes approximately 40 minutes, but for him, it takes much longer. First, he has to catch a low-floor bus.

"Once I had to let three regular buses go by until a low-floor bus finally arrived. That day, I was one hour late for my meeting,” he told Nepszava.

Travelling by metro poses another set of challenges: without the help of an employee of the Centre for Budapest Transport (BKK) he cannot get down to the platforms.

The young man claims that many disabled people do not dare to venture on such trips without having someone to assist them. But finding professional help is difficult, not to mention the costs of such a service. The result is that many people prefer to stay at home, adding significant psychological risks to their condition. 

Organizations that fight for disabled rights have submitted several petitions but their demands remained unanswered, and BKK does not plan to make all the stops fully accessible. The reason, politicians say, is simple: there is no money.

Details from the story:

  • 13 years ago, Daniel Csango changed was driven home by a friend after a party. The man who was driving the car fell asleep. They were 30 metres from his apartment when the car crashed. 
  • The lack of accessible facilities is not only problematic for the disabled: elderly people are also inconvenienced.
  • M3, one of the busiest metro lines in Budapest, is being renovated at the moment. The BKK, however, does not plan to build elevators at all stops. There will be elevators at 8 stations only.
  • The National Federation of Disabled Persons’ Associations (MEOSZ) recently wrote an open letter to the Prime Minister, Viktor Orban, and the Mayor of Budapest, Istvan Tarlos. "We are concerned because it seems that certain economic aspects are more important than human rights and the needs of disabled.” -- they said.

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