Friday, October 03, 2008

Barrier-Free Beijing Subway is Wheelchair-Friendly

The Autopia blog has a piece on how Beijing has introduced improvements allowing disabled riders of the underground/metro to travel without barriers:


...Beijing has become less of a Forbidden City for the disabled. Even though more than one million disabled people live within its city limits, Beijing's crowded subway was practically inaccessible to anyone not able to rush to the front of the platform on their own two feet. Now, according to the official Chinese government information site, the improvements made in preparation for the Games will become permanent, allowing disabled riders to travel without barriers.

"I can't believe this is true. Three hours ago I was at home, and now I'm here with all these others watching Paralympic Games competitions," randomly-selected wheelchair-bound Beijing citizen Wang Shufen said. "The volunteers and subway and bus workers were really helpful. Without them, I would never have made it." Of course, made sure to note that the 70-year-old Wang was smiling all through her interview, and never mentioned whether she lived ten feet or ten miles from the stadium.

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