And Now for Something Completely Different: Throw Brett Off the Bus!


A disabled man has been thrown off an Auckland bus a day after the company apologised for 15 previous similar incidents.

Go Rider.gifBrett Edge, who has an intellectual disability and speech disorder, wanted to catch the bus at 4.15pm yesterday from near his Kohimarama home to the Glen Innes railway station to get to the funeral of a friend who played with him in the country's only special needs rugby team.

He gave the driver his disability concession card and a Go Rider card which the bus company had sent him, loaded up with 10 trips at the child rate as provided by the disability concession policy.

But his mother, Donna Marquardt, said the driver again refused to accept him because he is 26. "They told him to get off.

"He had no money on him because we had just loaded the card up with 10 trips, so he had to walk to Glen Innes," she said.

"Brett's really upset. He was going to a funeral, a boy from the rugby team died, and now this happens."

It was the 16th time bus drivers have refused to accept Mr Edge's concession card, and came just a day after an NZ Bus general manager rang Mrs Marquardt to apologise.

Mrs Marquardt said she emailed Auckland Regional Transport Authority communications manager Sharon Hunter on Thursday saying she was considering laying a complaint with the Human Rights Commission.

"Within half an hour he [the NZ Bus manager] rang to apologise," Mrs Marquardt said. "He apologised profusely and said it would never happen again, and a day later it happened again.

"He wanted to come down and apologise to Brett. Then when I said actually I'm going to make a complaint to the [commission] ... he said that was my right to do that. Nobody bothered to come and see Brett."

She lodged the complaint with the commission yesterday.

NZ Bus spokeswoman Siobhan O'Donovan said last night that she was 

flabbergasted Mr Edge had been put off a bus again. "I just apologise again for the experience he's having, I can't imagine how he feels," she said.

"We will be working to ensure that all the drivers know what this card looks like."

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