Dublin Bus has recently come into controversy online after a person with cystic fibrosis tweeted that she was questioned on her disability pass by a Dublin Bus driver.
On February 21st, Aoife Gifford tweeted that a “Dublin Bus driver asked me if my disability pass was real, then proceeded to ask what disability I had… sorry my cystic fibrosis isn’t visible 24/7.”
“I was getting on the busy 40 like I do everyday after work and as I was getting on to scan my pass,” said Gifford. “He shouted at me to come back for him to see it, which I had no problem with.”
However, it was when the bus driver asked if the pass was real that Gifford said she “thought he was joking”.
“This has happened more than once honestly I have a companion pass and I’ve used it to get friends on the bus with me as they, at the time, are my caretaker… they hold my meds in case something happens that I can’t access it. Drivers have stopped me and my friends multiple times to check my pass and ask my reasoning as to having one.”
Dublin Bus responded to the tweet advising that Gifford fill out a form on the incident, however, she said she had done this on previous occasions.
“I’ve always filled them out and got nothing back,” she said. “I’m currently in talks with a very helpful man that has contact with Dublin Bus.”
The Dublin Bus website notes that the free travel pass scheme, which entitles passengers to free travel on most regular bus routes, includes the driver’s duty to “check that you’re using a valid pass and that you are the person who appears on the pass.”
There is no mention of whether or not those with the pass can be questioned further on the pass, or on what disability they have specifically.
Twitter user @CitizenW0lf replied to Gifford’s original tweet and said: “Dublin Bus really needs to have something more than the infamous web-form so that people can have confidence in the complaints procedure. At the moment, complaints just seem to disappear into the internet ether.”
Gifford said she is “just hoping that no one has to endure that type of humiliation ever again as you can see from the replies on the tweet it’s not only myself that’s had to deal with it, Dublin Bus drivers need appropriate training for these situations.”
Image Credit: Carrie McMullan