Train rides in the wheelchair: Against barriers, rolling

The railway has a duty to Transport the passenger, but people with a wheelchair, you can always stand again. Kay Macquarrie does not need to be more like. you

Train rides in the wheelchair: Against barriers, rolling

The railway has a duty to Transport the passenger, but people with a wheelchair, you can always stand again. Kay Macquarrie does not need to be more like.

you Can't stop: activist Kay Macquarrie on a train track photo: private

this Friday in Advent, the direct train from Berlin moves to Kiel on time, on Track 8. A lifting device is ready, next to a railway waiting-staff with a red hat. Kay Macquarrie driving his wheelchair on the ramp. The staff is pumping it hydraulically, then Macquarrie in rolls in the train.

Today, the entry-level work. However, people who are in a wheelchair, can tell a lot over rail travel. Broken elevators, Hublifte missing, no staff for the lifts, broken toilets, and endless phone calls to the relevant "mobility service center" of the track in a wheelchair for any train journey in a lottery is like.

Christian Bayerlein from Konstanz was not allowed in Rhineland-Palatinate, Dernau boarding the train, because the ramp for the railway was not dough approved. At eleven he had to drive his power wheelchair five miles to the next station.

another guest has not been established in Karlsruhe in the train, because he had not logged on the journey to Berlin days in advance. The railway advertises their Service for people with mobility limitations. But the road to a barrier-free travel is still far, say unions.

Kay Macquarrie driving for ten years, regularly between Kiel and Berlin. Per long-distance trains, there are usually just a wagon with a barrier-free toilet and two spaces for wheelchair drivers. Today, all of which are already occupied. "That's not even supposed to be," says the 44-Year-old.

A man with crutches sitting on a folding chair, his wheelchair folded up next to it. A second wheelchair has been shoehorned into a niche. It is weekend traffic, the busy train full. Macquarrie compartment goes to the Family and stands out on a seat.

Kay Macquarrie, activist

"I'm cooperative ruckus with their own suggestions for improvement"

"I need to register my travel on the best 48 hours in advance, and nevertheless, the mobility service and not getting it," he says and shakes his head. The mobility service centre (MSZ) train coordinate the assistance to get in and out, reports of defective elevators, and reserved wheelchair Seating in long-distance trains. The journey may not be offered, wheelchair accessible, rejects the path. Then you have to look for a new connection.

Per year, the railway handled about 850,000 requests to tours, from where it meets according to its own information, 99 percent. "This number looks better than it actually is," says Alexander Ahrens of the representation of interests in a self-determined living (ISL).

After all, could not, therefore, travel of 8,000 people. In addition, many people do not know in a wheelchair, what it is worth, to ask. "If I know that in the morning before six is no staff at the station, I'm going to this time, no more requests for me and according to self-limit," explains Ahrens.

Because the two wheelchair spaces are occupied, not more likely to Macquarrie the ride today. As in other areas of the railway not allowed wheelchairs for safety reasons. Macquarrie, who works in public Relations in a media company, will not be intimidated. "I was smuggled into the bike compartment."

He is slim, his Hand wheelchair maneuverable and easy. Other passengers can lift it into the train. "As a stewardess came to me and wanted to throw, I told her that she should call the police." This confrontation, the woman was unpleasant. The wheelchair is narrow, back wich you, and let Macquarrie ride.

The train stops in Berlin-Spandau. A family with two children, compartment, want to go to the Family. You have reserved. Macquarrie would like to make, but in the corridor the passengers are already. After brief consultations, the mother is dismissive. Your son sits on the floor. Macquarrie gives him a seat cushion to Inflate. "The railway is for me is a space of encounters. As a person with a disability, I would like to be part of it.“ In a car or Taxi to travel, he therefore rejects.

Shortly before Hamburg, a train comes. Ticket control. Macquarrie asks, why three wheelchairs were in the compartment. There is no message had come, says the inspector. He taps on his mobile phone, in order to show that to come here would have. Macquarrie asks him to confirm the three wheelchairs in writing. For all cases, if he is to be returned from a train thrown. Robust Occur, he says.

Macquarrie is involved as a mobility activist. If he is told to by his experiences at the track, he speaks quickly and pointedly. In some Places he was waiting on the reaction of the Listeners. Then he underscores what was said with a Twitch of the corner of his mouth. To the Public he brings the grievances for one year only.

When someone asked him, what's it like to travel with a wheelchair path, he was aware of this need. Problems visible so that the pressure on the railway to exercise – that is the goal of the Homepage barrierefreiebahn.de he operates since may with the ISL.

he must get Upset about the toilets. Too often, a yellow "Broken"sign and sticks there. "Sometimes a train closes in on me anyway. The bowl is then half full, but it is.“ However, in the case of a journey at the beginning of December, the stewardess shakes only at the door and lets him stand. Finally, he urinated on the steps to the Waggontür. "That was coercion," he says in a sober tone. His gaze is fixed, the angle of the mouth twitch.

Since 15 years, the railway will cooperate with the German disability Council. 78 percent of some 5,700 train stations to be accessible, a year, they build 100 more stops accessible, it says on the info page. 16 mobile Teams to help get in and out at stations without staff. The railway struggles. However, Macquarrie's missing is a comprehensive concept.

rides well, it's Complicated, the application form of railway. "For a return journey with one change, I need to fill in the online form of the MSZ 79 fields!", he shakes his head. to scan

the question of the jungle of the auxiliary form, Philipp Maier, a Mitaktivist of Macquarrie programmed, the App "rabbit". "Hare" stands for auxiliary services as a Service. "What has made the track over the years, he has developed in seven days," says Macquarrie. Bunny saves the personal data of the*r travellers and transmits it automatically in the web form.

Macquarrie wants to that the web offers this Service with. For this, he has initiated the beginning of the year, an online petition to railway boss, Richard Lutz. 93,000 people have signed up since then. "The Petition I finish only when the railway is implementing the or Lutz in a wheelchair, travels with me in train." So far the Board has refused the chief, due to lack of time.

Shortly before Hamburg, the train comes again. The written confirmation of the three wheelchairs, he doesn't have. For this, he insisted, where Macquarrie wanted out. "So that really the lifting device on the rail platform," says Macquarrie. The staff seems not to trust the System.

On the question of whether Macquarrie'm still in the mood to train, he replies with a clear Nod. "I'm cooperative ruckus with their own suggestions for improvement." It is the people behind the Petition to encourage.

And for the Motivation it'll give rides, which work almost perfectly: the Euro city on time in Kiel enters, waiting by a lift with a fellow with a red cap. The next trip could look like in the travel lottery, but quite different.

Updated Date: 24 December 2019, 23:33

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