Who daily lives with any disability and has- for business, study or leisure reasons- to take the train, knows how tricky this experience can be, even though the availability of assistance services is granted in the overwhelming majority of the Italian railway stations.
On the occasion of the XV National day for the architectonical barriers removal, on October 1st, RFI (Italian Railway Network), companioning with FIABA, a non-profit association that has been fighting for years to remove architectonical barriers, officially announced its plan to improve its stations accessibility and usability for all the passengers.
Planned interventions include:
- elevating sidewalks (55 cm from the platform plan) to make it easy hopping on and off the trains;
- redeveloping passages and building new ramps to access the platforms;
- activating elevators;
- installing tactile paths and maps for visually impaired passengers;
- building new platform roofs and redeveloping the existent ones.
Furthermore, public information systems, both video and audio, will be improved, installing new monitors and sound diffusion systems and improving the station signage and lighting. The plan also includes interventions on the stations access areas, building parking lots, stalls for 2-wheels vehicles stop and appropriate systems facilitating the travellers hopping on and off, without bicycles on their shoulders. Digital technologies will also be more used, to improve the “user experience” for all the passengers, speeding up the access to platform and the electronic ticket validation and making it easier to find real time info about train circulation and more.
Renewal and removal of architectonical barriers interventions, in 2017, will involve 50 railway stations all over Italy and likewise in 2018. Is that going to be enough to, at last, ease train commuting for all the passengers? We do hope so!
What’s your experience travelling by train and in the stations? Let’s share it in the comments!