Loading articles...

Man in wheelchair faces off with TTC bus during rush hour

Last Updated Jul 11, 2016 at 6:30 pm EDT

After being neglected at his Etobicoke bus stop for hours, one man resorted to stopping rush-hour traffic in order to be serviced.

Mohamad Alhajabdullah said he and his 10-year-old son spent nearly two hours in 30-degree heat waiting for wheelchair space on the 45 Kipling bus.

Bus after bus pulled up at Kipling Avenue and Redcliff Boulevard last Tuesday afternoon, with only standing room available.

Alhajabdullah said at least six buses passed him by. One driver asked him to wait for the next ride.

That’s when another man waiting for the bus stepped in to help Alhajabdullah and his son park his wheelchair in the road before boarding a crowded bus himself.

“I roll my chair in front of the bus and say I am not moving until you find a solution for me,” Alhajabdullah said.

A photo of the dramatic stand-off surfaced on Twitter a few hours later.

TTC CEO Brad Ross said the transit company has a protocol to ensure people in wheelchairs are able to access service promptly.

“We are investigating this incident because protocol requires us to call our control centre when we’re unable to accommodate somebody in a wheelchair to determine if the next bus, the following bus, is able to accommodate the person,” Ross said.

“If they are unable to accommodate them because of crowding for example, then we would call Wheel Trans and make sure that that person gets a ride.”

After halting service for 10 minutes, a passenger called a wheelchair taxi for Alhajabdullah and his son and convinced him to take it home.

Alhajabdullah is a refugee who came to Canada with his family from Syria and became paralyzed after a bomb blast in his hometown.

“I’ve been here for seven months that’s more than 200 days. I am so grateful. Everything is amazing I don’t know what happened that day,” he said.

“I need to send a message, a symbol, that I am in a chair and sometimes need help, it’s a small message.”