Paris is a beautiful but very busy city teeming with tourists and residents mostly rushing to get to their destinations. In a crowded city like Paris it’s hard enough getting on buses and metro trains at the best of times but imagine what it must be like for those people with disabilities.
In the Parisian suburb of Clichy Francois Le Berre was about to board a bus, but this wasn’t your ordinary bus passenger as Francois uses a wheelchair. He has multiple sclerosis, a neurological disease that can disrupt a sufferer’s mobility.
This shouldn’t have been a problem as most Parisian buses have a space for those using a wheelchair but on this occasion none of the passengers would move to allow Francois to get to this space! Then the bus driver halts the bus and makes an announcement that nobody could believe.
According to WFIE, the bus driver halted the bus and told all passengers to get off — apart from Francois and his helper.
Francois was clearly a patient man as his reaction to the passengers not wanting to move was clear from his post on social media. “Yesterday waiting for the bus in Paris, I laughed; because no one wanted to (move),” he said.
But not everyone was laughing, the bus driver was fuming and immediately halted the bus.
Francois described what the bus driver did: “As no one was moving, the driver stood up and said ‘Terminating! Everybody off!’ After, he came to see me and said, ‘You can go up, and the others, you wait for the next one!’”
Accessible Pour Tous (which means “Accessible for All”) shared Francois’ story on their Facebook page praising the bus driver’s actions and they weren’t the only ones impressed.
The group’s tweet was shared thousands of times with people celebrating the actions of the bus driver in defending a man against a group of people who refused to accommodate his disability.
Even the company that operates Paris’ public-transit system Regie Autonome des Transports Parisiens said it wanted to find the driver so they could congratulate him for helping another passenger.
Please share this post as a tribute to the bus driver who didn’t stand by and allow a man to be left out in the cold because others refused to move and Francois who laughed in the face of adversity.