From 16th to 22nd September, European Mobility Week 2020 is being celebrated.
This initiative, whose aim is to sensitize both, policy makers and citizens about mobility concerning issues in modern-day world. This year's European Mobility Week theme is ‘Zero-emission mobility for all’. Its mean goals are contributing to a carbon-neutral continent by 2050 and promote an inclusive framework involving everyone.
EU Transport Commissioner Adina Vălean said: “This year is a big challenge for our towns and cities. But the pandemic also showed us that people appreciate and expect our cities to become safer, cleaner and accessible to all."
Undoubtedly, COVID-19 has transformed our reality, creating new challenges. One of the 10 lessons learnt during the lockdown for better urban mobility was: "Certain groups of people are more vulnerable than others; let’s build cities with barrier-free transport systems, because a city accessible for a person in a wheelchair is a city accessible for everyone". Not only regarding to the physical accessibility, but if means of transport, as well as the whole cities are designed and built thinking in everyone´s needs, all population will feel safe and comfortable, and enjoying their rights when using it.
In 2019, the European Accessibility Act was published, a directive that aims to improve the functioning of the internal market for accessible products and services, including mobility features as an essential field to be considered. Among the needed considerations to achieve an accessible transport, are:
- respecting the Design for All principle when designing transport vehicles such as trains or buses and surrounding infrastructure such as train stations
- that information about a journey is made accessible and easy to understand for everybody
- that information about the level of accessibility of a certain mode of transport is made available for all users
- if transport is not fully accessible: providing assistance from the point of departure to the point of arrival at the final destination of a disabled passenger, tailored to his specific needs, at no extra cost
- disability awareness and disability equality training for all personnel working in the transport sector
Means of transport are a key piece of cities, making them places easy to live and with good conditions or all the way around. So accessible and sustainable mobility is without doubt one of the biggest challenges cities are facing.