From next Tuesday, RENFE will provide accessible buses to cover the route of the suburban line between Murcia, Lorca and Águilas. There will be two ways for people with reduced mobility to travel: in their own wheelchair, or in a conventional seat with the wheelchair folded down. In both cases, it will be the bus driver who will help the passenger to access their seat. The president of the Committee of Representatives of People with Disabilities, Pedro Martínez, applauds the step taken by RENFE, although he qualifies that “we cannot speak of an accessible line, because those interested in having a seat have to apply for it two days in advance”.
The president of CERMI says that this “implies that the system will only be able to attend previously programmed journeys, and will not be able to respond in the event that an urgent journey is required”.
RENFE’s arrangement raises some other doubts. It is not clear what will happen in cases where passengers use motorised electric wheelchairs, which are much heavier and cannot be folded; it will be necessary to pay attention to the type of assistance that drivers will be able to provide to passengers who need to be transported from their wheelchair to a conventional seat, and it remains to be clarified how many seats of this type RENFE has planned for each service.
Passengers who need an accessible seat can make their request by calling 968 97 52 53, from eight to two in the afternoon and from five to seven in the evening from Monday to Friday.