The Department of Transport of the north-central Vietnamese province of Nghe An has ordered a revamp of local public bus routes after a limbless man spent two hours repeatedly failing to flag down a bus, apparently because drivers were simply ignoring him.
A viral video posted online on Thursday showed Huynh Thanh Duc, 51, a resident of Ha Tinh Province, telling a local in Hoa Thanh Commune, Yen Thanh District, Nghe An Province that he stood at a bus stop waiting for a bus from 7:00 am to 9:00 am on Wednesday.
Duc, who is quadruple amputee, was dropped off at the bus stop by his child at around 7:00 am that day to catch bus No. 5 from Yen Thanh to Vinh City, the capital of Nghe An.
Three No. 5 buses passed while Duc and his child waited, but none stopped.
Duc’s child wound up having to leave to attend to an urgent matter, and shortly after a fourth No. 5 bus drove by without stopping for Duc.
A local named D., who filmed the viral video, helped Duc wave a bus down and help him aboard.
The video of the incident draw huge public attention and stirred mixed opinions, mostly criticism.
In their initial response to the incident, the operator of the No. 5 bus route explained that Duc stood a bit too far from the bus stop to be noticed and showed no signs of needing a ride.
However, according to D., it is common for passengers at the stop to wait in the shade of the nearby tree, rather than right at the stop.
They only run to the bus stop once the bus arrives.
Unfortunately, Duc was not able to leave the shade for the bus stop due to his disability.
On Thursday afternoon, Nguyen Van Hai, deputy director of the Nghe An Department of Transport, requested that his subordinates revamp service on all public bus routes in the province following the incident.
Nghe An currently has more than 300 buses which run a combined 1,300 trips per day at a frequency of about 15-35 minutes per departure.
Vietnamese law stipulates that priority has to be given to public transport passengers with disabilities, including prioritized seating, free or discounted fares, and assistance with boarding and deboarding.