As Port Moresby develops rapidly, city planners must take into consideration the accessibility of PWDs to the public transport system.
Ross Tito is the Papua New Guinea Assembly of Persson with Disabilities (PNGADP) executive officer and programme manager.
“Currently, in Port Moresby, a person with disability cannot move around because the infrastructure cannot cater for their needs. There are no ramps, tactiles and signages to help people with different disabilities,” Tito said.
He said issues faced by PWDs in using public transport systems included:
- Crowded bus stops during peak hours-PWDs find it difficult to get on the bus.
- Inaccessible for wheelchair users and most stay at home.
- Drivers not informing passengers of stops along the way-visual impaired persons need to know where they can get off).
- Costs associated with getting on taxis are too much.
- Security and safety-particularly women and girls with disability.
- Double charging of fares-often drivers would charge for the space taken up by the wheelchair in PMVs.
According to Tito, PNGADP had three vehicles in their organisation, however, the vehicles encountered mechanical faults and were now not in running condition.
“We have a sedan, a land rover and a bus. They have normal, repairable mechanical problems, but, PNGADP don’t have the money to have these vehicles fixed.
“We depend entirely on these vehicles and so it has made moving to and from work a daily struggle,” Tito said.