Bus driver kicks all the passengers off his bus after they refused to move for a wheelchair user

Bus driver kicks all the passengers off his bus after they refused to move for a wheelchair user

A bus driver in France has been hailed by many as a hero after sticking up for a wheelchair user who was neglected by other passengers.

On October 20th, the driver (who has not been named) stopped in a rural area to pick up Francois Le Berre, who has multiple sclerosis and uses a wheelchair to get around. However, despite it being clear to passengers that Le Berre needed space, nobody moved to let him on. Rather than ignore the problem and continue to the next stop, though, the driver made an unprecedented decision to punish the passengers for their selfishness... by kicking them all off the bus.

A bus rides past a 'uritrottoir' public urinal on August 13, 2018, in Paris. - The city of Paris has begun testing 'uritrottoirs', dry public urinals intended to be ecological and odorless, but that make some residents cringe. (Photo by Thomas SAMSON / AFP) (Photo credit should read THOMAS SAMSON/AFP/Getty Images) Credit: Getty

Much to their objection, every single passenger was made to leave the bus and wait for the next one; meanwhile, Le Berre was invited aboard as the sole traveller.

A tweet describing the incident was shared by a group called "Accessible Pour Tous" – which translates as "accessible for all" - on the following day.

"Yesterday while waiting for the bus in Paris, nobody wanted to move themselves," the Tweet reads. "As no one was moving the driver stood up and said ‘Terminating! Everybody off!’ After he came to see me and said 'you can go up and the others, you wait for the next one!'"

The tweet has been retweeted more than 5,000 times and, at the time of writing, has over 12,000 likes.

And many people on the social media platform were keen to show their support for Le Berre and the bus driver, too.

"Bravo to the bus driver," said one person. "Shame to the passengers."

"I always give my place to elderly [people], pregnant women or people with disabilities thanks to my parents who taught me when I was a child," added another, "so unfortunately it is a problem of education."

However, one Twitter user was unimpressed by all the virtue signalling. "You wouldn’t have moved either," they wrote.

low-section of a wheelchair Credit: Getty

Access to transport and other facilities is still desperately lacking in many places worldwide, with wheelchair uses being particularly impeded by trains, tubes and buses that simply do not accommodate for their needs.

In London, a minority of tube stations have wheelchair access, meaning that vast portions of the city are as good as out of bounds for commuters.

"I love that London is an open, welcoming city, but sometimes disabled people are forgotten," one wheelchair user said to The Guardian last year. "I want the people responsible for city planning to really understand the impact their decisions have on disabled people by talking to us. If you are not a blind person, you cannot truly understand what it is like to live in London as a blind person. If you aren’t a wheelchair user, you can’t fathom what it is like to travel along pavements that are so uneven that you tear a ligament in one shoulder just trying to get to work – you have to talk to us and find out. And then do something."

This most recent incident in France should remind us all to be considerate of those who find it harder to travel than able-bodied individuals, and to do what we can to improve our cities for wheelchair users and any other differently-abled people who are currently encountering problems with their day-to-day lives.