People commute in taxis and buses in Beirut, Lebanon June 15, 2017. REUTERS/Aziz Taher
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For Yahya al-Mawla, moving around Beirut is never simple. Mawla does not have a car, so he relies on taxis to get around the city. To take the bus or van would be cheaper, and there are lines that pass close to Mawla's home in Ras al-Nabeh. But in Beirut's largely privatized "public" transport system, buses and vans are generally not equipped to take passengers in wheelchairs.A group of transportation and disability rights activists is aiming to change the landscape for passengers like Mawla.The session's moderator David Munir Nabti, who is general manager of the online social enterprise platform Pitchworthy.org, said another idea was to rent an already-accessible bus or van, which exist on the private market in Lebanon.However, Nabti added, the passenger should not actually pay the difference in price -- rather, a government agency or private donor might pick up the tab, issuing tickets to disabled passengers that they would hand to the drivers upon embarking.
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