Coach USA - Shortline — handicapped incident
I am a Coach USA/Shoreline Bus rider for the past 14 years. I take the 6:20 AM bus from Chester, NY Park and ride to Port Authority NYC. My regular bus driver is on vacation and a substitute driver has filled in since 7/31/2017. When I boarded the bus on 7/31/2017 I did not mention that I am handicapped and the bus driver did not take the bus to the gate. I asked him about going to the gate as I was handicapped and his response was "I don't go to the gate" I advised him I was handicapped and cannot walk far distances and he advised if I told him in advance he can do it. This morning, 8/1/2017, I boarded the bus at 6:20 AM and told him that I need to go to the gate, He was annoyed that I asked and said that he will not go to the gate. I could not believe it, so I called the dispatcher and he said he would speak to the driver. Once we reached NYC, Port Authority, the bus driver would not go to the gate. There is a drop off that is very dangerous that all passengers have to use, it is very narrow strip that goes down to the building and when all the buses drop off the passengers, it is so crowded and no where to walk or stand, since I have a disabled foot, my balance is off, if I get off the bus, I am afraid that I will lose my footing and fall into the oncoming bus. The driver refused to take me to the gate even though I showed him my handicapped card. I then got angry and asked for a police officer. The driver started yelling at me saying he will not go to the gate, I told him this is FXXXXX crazy, he then replies that I am causing this commotion as he is "BLACK" . That is totally untrue. I am not in the least prodigy. At that time, I saw that he was using the "BLACK CARD" to make it look like I was at fault. I then called the dispatcher and advised him that I will not leave the bus until the driver takes me to the gate. The supervisor called the driver and told him to take me to the gate which he did reluctantly. When I was leaving the bus, he told me that he would not allow me on his bus again. I am so angry as I was treated as a piece of garbage by this driver. Just because I am handicapped, I should not have to be treated this way. There is a handicapped bus spot at the front of the Port Authority which the driver rode by and did not stop. This is blatant discrimination against handicapped people. I plan to take legal action if I do not get an apology from the driver not to mention Coach USA. It is shame that our society has to use racial overtones whenever there is confrontation between different races or nationalities.
Please advise what can be done to help me and all of the other handicapped people that cannot stand up for themselves.
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