Disabled woman says bus wouldn't let her ride

Posted at 11:22 PM, Mar 15, 2016
and last updated 2016-03-16 15:26:35-04

ESCONDIDO, Calif. - A disabled Escondido woman who lost a battle to take her service cat on the bus in a stroller is waging a new war with the North County Transit District.

Tracy Baxter said two bus drivers recently refused to let her on the bus because she was on a motorized scooter and the drivers said there was not enough room.

"I have been using the scooter since like November," Baxter said.

She said she has stress fractures in her feet and can only walk a bit.

"The bus pulled up and the driver said I already have a wheelchair on and I have a baby in a stroller, so you're going to have to wait for the next bus. So, I said why don't you call your dispatch and see what they say. He comes back and says dispatch says I can't make people move, even though the ADA law says so," Baxter said. "This is the second time two bus drivers on the same route within a 24-hour period told me I can’t come on."

10News has done two previous stories with Baxter. Several years ago Target refused to let her and her service cat Bonnie, who rides in a stroller, into the store. After our story, Target apologized and allows Bonnie and the stroller in.

In February 2015, she called us when the NCTD stopped allowing Bonnie on the bus in her stroller. They said Baxter would have to hold Bonnie and fold the stroller, but Baxter said she could not hold Bonnie on the bus because her hands hurt.

Baxter said that after the bus driver refused to let her on Tuesday afternoon she had to ride her scooter to the doctor’s appointment which she says was not safe.

"Obviously, I want not only for me to not have a hard time, but for other people with disabilities to not have a hard time," Baxter said.

Karen Tucholski, chief administrative officer for the North County Transit District, sent this statement to 10News reporter Emily Valdez:

NCTD's mission is to provide safe, convenient, reliable and user-friendly public transportation services. We take all complaints from our customers seriously. Ms. Baxter filed complaints with us on March 14th and March 15th, both of which are currently under investigation. While NCTD cannot comment on open investigations, please be assured that appropriate action will be taken if indicated upon the conclusion of that process.