Go George in top gear for special needs

NOVEMBER 17, 2015

The GO GEORGE system was designed to be as universally accessible as possible to people with special needs. This includes different categories of needs like physical disabilities, frail or elderly people, pregnant women and people travelling with young children and prams.

“During this month of focused awareness of the needs and rights of disabled people, we feel extra proud of the extent to which GO GEORGE accommodates passengers with special needs,” says James Robb, GO GEORGE Manager.

“Right from the beginning of the design and planning of this public transport system, it was the highest priority of National Government to offer maximal accessibility with GO GEORGE.”

The GO GEORGE minibuses are the first and as yet only public transport minibuses in South Africa designed to accommodate people in wheelchairs and those using mobility devices as part of public transport service. All three bus types used by GO GEORGE – mini, midi and standard - are fitted with ramps or hoists, and have docking stations for wheelchairs.

At bus stops, on most routes, bus platforms have been built up to reduce the step-up to the bus, making the system more accessible to everybody, while tactile paving makes it easier for visually impaired people to identify when they've reached the bus stop boarding point.

Assistive animals such as guide dogs for the blind are allowed on buses, and audible signals warn sight-impaired users of doors opening and closing and the hoist deploying.

All the buses have specially positioned priority red seating for people with special needs. It is required of passengers to give up these seats for anyone in need of them, since they have been positioned to be accessible to such passengers.

Call the GO GEORGE call centre on 0800 044 044 for any enquiries about routes or schedules, or how they can assist disabled passengers.

Image: Koert Damons and Roselina Fortuin from Rosemoor are very pleased with the wheelchair accessibility of the buses, which they frequently use. “They make it so easy for us – the lift even comes right down to ground level!” they exclaimed.