Some Bus Riders Say Snow Limits Access At Certain Bus Stops

Posted at 6:31 PM, Jan 10, 2014
and last updated 2014-01-10 18:31:17-05

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. – As the plows continue to roll through the city streets, the snow continues to pile up on the side of the road.

This is causing some issues for the people who rely on city buses to get where they need to go each day.

For those with disabilities, the problems can be hard to overcome.

We met Alanzo Wingard in his motorized wheelchair waiting for a Rapid bus in downtown Grand Rapids.

“I’m just riding around looking for nice spots where I know I can stop at,” he said.

Wingard rides the bus every other day.  He said he has missed a lot of buses this winter because of the snow and limited access at some stops.

Wingard was waiting at a sheltered stop when we spoke with him.  That particular stop had made the proper accomodations for Wingard to get on the bus, wheelchair and all.

According to a spokesperson for the Rapid Bus System it’s up to the transit authority to clear the snow making it accessible for all riders at sheltered stops.

But when it comes to non-sheltered stops we were told, much like sidewalks, it’s the property owner’s responsibility to clear a path.

Some stops fair better than others.

Scott Lacey lost his vision four years ago and also relies on public transportation.

“The snow piles can be challenging for me just because I typically have it down where I will feel with my cane where the entrance of the bus is,” said Lacey.  “But if the snow bank is three feet high, I am stepping down into the bus at that point.”

Lacey lives in downtown Grand Rapids and takes the bus to GVSU in Allendale.  He said for the most part he can get around just fine.  He wants business and property owners to show a little courtesy when the snow starts to pile up.

“Look at it from someone else’s perspective,” he said.  “They may be driving and not have to walk around the city.”

A spokesperson for the Rapid said if you are waiting for a stop that isn’t clear, you should move down to the nearest clearing, a driveway or sidewalk near the intersection and then flag down a bus and bring your concerns to the attention of the driver.