"Mobility is a fundamental right for all", said Mohamed Mezghani, UITP Secretary General in the openinig line of the UITP Strategic Priorities leaflet. Promoting inclusive, accessible and safe public transport for all: this is one of the main objectives of UITP, and a challenge that has never been more pressing following recent urban growth and densifying urban environments.
Luckily this issue is alive everywhere: today is International Day of Persons with Disabilities (IDPD), a day set by the United Nations (UN) to raise awareness about the problems people with disabilities face in everyday life. Approximately 15% of the world’s population live with some form of disability.
With the 2018 theme being ‘Empowering persons with disabilities and ensuring inclusiveness and equality’, the IDPD is the perfect moment for actors within the urban mobility sector to assess what they are doing to ensure people with reduced mobility can safely and easily access public transport. Because while many public transport operators have succeeded in offering inclusive public transport, others have yet some work to do. Due to ageing infrastructure and population in various parts in the world, some public transport services do not yet offer the provisions necessary for people with a disability.
"Public transport is by definition a vector of social inclusiveness. Today more than ever, we have the responsibility to keep removing barriers and ensure that persons with reduced mobility have equal access to all of the urban mobility options", said Mohamed Mezghani in his open letter on accessibility in public transport last December 2017.
So what have we been working on at UITP to promote accessible public transport?
To assess and showcase the commitment of the public transport sector to provide quality services that are accessible to all, UITP earlier this year released the brochure ‘Travel for All – The Commitment of European public transport’. The report gathers the answers of 29 networks from 15 countries to UITP’s online questionnaire with regards to the measures implemented to improve the accessibility of infrastructure, vehicles, information and services. The brochure not only presents the state of play of the accessibility of European networks for persons with reduced mobility, but also collects a series of best practices serving as useful inspiration for UITP members. This brochure will be continually updated as the landscape progresses.
Mobility is a fundamental right for all
Also, in the field of research, the issue of accessibility in public transport is more relevant than ever. UITP’s partner project FAIR STATIONS is the perfect example of how EU-funded research tries to tackle the challenge of making public transport accessible to all. Launched in 2017, FAIR STATIONS aims to develop solutions for improved user flow within train stations, hereby paying special attention to the needs of people with reduced mobility.
Either through research and analyses or through advocacy, UITP will always recognise and act on its responsibility to remove the barriers in public transport and ensuring that everyone has equal access to all of the urban mobility options. UITP is actively working on advancing public transport to help the transformation towards sustainable and resilient society for all and we invite all actors to join our efforts in providing safe and easy journeys for all citizens.
For more information about FAIR STATIONS: www.fairstations.eu
Read more about the FAIR STATIONS project and our participation in October 20118 in the World Summit for Accessible Tourism- Destination for all here!
Join us from 10 – 12 December in Brussels for our training programme on Accessibility in Public Transport!