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Design of universal accessibility systems for public transport

Final Report Summary - UNIACCESS (Design of universal accessibility systems for public transport)

Our society has committed itself to providing all citizens with equality of opportunity. In this framework, the ability to use public transport can be critical for different purposes such as commuting to work, joining in entertainment activities or buying products and services. This means that inasmuch as possible people with different degrees of mobility (the young, the older, people with disabilities, people carrying babies or shopping, pregnant women, etc.) should be granted the same comfort, speed and capacity when using public transport. The only way to guarantee this is to ensure that the whole of the public transport (railway, buses, taxis and its supporting infrastructure) in the EU becomes universally accessible.

So, the goal of this project was to promote and support the networking and coordination of research and innovation activities in the field of universal design of accessibility systems for public transport between a comprehensive group of stakeholders (end users, designers and manufacturers, operators, authorities) with a view to achieve quality and equality of access to public transport in the EU. Significant dissemination and society awareness of this work will also be necessary to maximise the benefits of the project.

Project objectives

- To collect useful state-of-the-art knowledge for designing universal accessibility -systems to public transport (taxis, buses and trains) in a way that allows this knowledge to be used and shared (at least in a summarised way) by all stakeholders in accessibility to public transport with a view to favour synergies and better quality.

- To produce a roadmap of future R&D in universal accessibility to public transport based on:
a. The current situation of accessibility to transport.
b. Our vision of future accessibility to transport based on the universal design philosophy.
c. The emerging R&D concepts in this field
d. The technology gaps that separate our current situation from the intended one.

- To come up with new R&D project proposals that allow us to bridge the existing technology gaps, such as for example:
a. To come up with promising ideas that allow us to make access easier and more comfortable for all.
b. To reduce time waste during access.
c. To achieve an efficient use of available space.
d. To obtain concepts that can be applied to different train, bus and car types with as few modifications as possible.
e. To maximise reliability to keep the devices always working properly.
f. To achieve a safe system.
g. To design a transition strategy to establish the new systems.
h. To improve the quality of the public transport: safety and comfort
i. To increase the use of the public transport, therefore decrease the traffic jams.

- To define an improved collaborative innovation process in accessibility to transport that takes advantages of all the stakeholders involved in the field: end-users, operators, authorities, designers and manufacturers.

-To spread knowledge of universal design among educational institutions, end-users, operators, designers and manufacturers with a view to facilitate the adoption of the new concepts.

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