Barbara Yanger, a reporter who uses a wheelchair, was injured at a January 1st press conference as she boarded a Veolia-operated bus in Garden City.
Yanger, who hosts two public access television shows for Cablevision Long Island, fell backward from the ramp as her chair tipped from the incline and she hit her head on the pavement.
Yanger spent two days in the hospital with a concussion and other injuries. “I’m still dealing with a lot of neck, back and hip pain,” she said, in addition to short-term memory loss. “They need to launch an investigation and make sure that no other disabled person is injured boarding a Nassau bus,” Yanger said.
Yanger is filing a lawsuit against Veolia, the Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) and Nassau County for negligence and damages. “The County does not comment on pending litigation,” County Attorney John Ciampoli said in an email. Nassau Inter-County Express (NICE) Bus, which is operated by Veolia Transportation, did not respond to requests for comment.
In response to a Garden City Patch article about the incident, a reader named Mark left this comment, “I told Roger, a Veolia manager, that the bus going out for demonstration had a faulty front wheelchair mechanical issue. Roger stated that the County Executive was waiting and he didn’t care about the status of the wheelchair ramp. So the bus was put out anyway and [the] wheelchair lady suffered from his ignorance and arrogance. Let the MTA take over again.”
Veolia Transportation began operating NICE Bus – formerly known as Long Island Bus – on January 1st, taking over for the MTA as part of a privatization deal with Nassau County. The press conference was part of an effort to introduce NICE Bus to the riding public.
This article was published in the March 2012 issue of Able News.