UITP tackles issue of social inclusiveness and accessibility in public transport

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On 1 October 2018, UITP had the pleasure of speaking at a session on public transport for people with reduced mobility at the World Summit for Accessible Tourism – Destinations for All. Held in Brussels, the Summit presented the innovations and best practices for the development of accessible destinations for all.

UITP Secretary General Mohamed Mezghani moderated the session, which welcomed four speakers from public transport companies and authorities to share in which way they contribute to improving accessibility in public transport for people with reduced mobility.

The first speaker was Anne-Laure Le Merre, Consultant Regional & Suburban Rail at UITP. Talking about UITP’s report ‘Travel for All – The Commitment of European Public Transport’ , which was published early this year, Anne-Laure focused on the progress already made by operators and the planned further developments in the field of accessibility. Flexibility and focus on local solutions were key elements during her talk. “While in some cases hard work on the infrastructure is required to ensure smooth flow of all passengers, in other cases alternative solutions including door-to-door services will be the most efficient way of spending public money for the benefits of all passengers,” she said.

The other speakers were Ditte Kahlström Jansson from the Transport Administration Stockholm County Council, Roberto Murru from Cagliari’s public transport company CTM SPA, and Patricia Delon from Parisian public transport operator RATP.

UITP’s presence at the Summit highlights once more that public transport is first and foremost a service for people, by people. This belief is also underlined by UITP’s research partner project FAIR Stations. Launched in September 2017, FAIR Stations aims to develop solutions for improved users flow within train stations. This will be done putting customer satisfaction, security and safety at the centre of the station design, paying special attention to the needs of people with reduced mobility. FAIR Stations seeks to develop various station designs and solutions for platform train interface and train door access, which would help to make the journey more pleasurable, safe and smooth.

FAIR Stations recently published the deliverable ‘User Needs and Expectations of the General Public and PRMs’. Gathered via customer surveys, focus groups, observational trips and video footage taken from train stations, the report maps the needs and expectations at urban and mainline stations concerning different aspects of station design, such as signage, congestion, security and safety, and accessibility. Some key findings are:
- Commercialisation of stations space may be in conflict with the needs of railway passengers
- Crowd flow was identified as an overarching concern, particularly during peak times
- Addressing issues related to passengers’ baggage will significantly foster the use of the railway, as it is a more determining factor for modal choice than pricing, changes and travel time

You can find the full report here!

UITP will keep dedicating itself to making public transport accessible to all. Public transport is by definition a vector of social inclusiveness and the public transport sector has therefore the responsibility to keep removing barriers and ensure that everyone – including those with reduced mobility - have equal access to all of the urban mobility options.

For more information about FAIR STATIONS: www.fairstations.eu

Fair Stations was a main feature in the latest issue of the PTI Magazine. Discover more here!

Join us from 10-12 December in Brussels, Belgium, for a training programme on Accessibility in Public Transport!

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