The project was intended to raise awareness about the significance of accessibility in public transport. Barrier-free access to means of transportation is very important in order to provide effective and fair transport systems. The project will contribute to create a fully accessible railroad network for all clients.
Note that Several Eastern European partners participate in the project. In many Eastern European countries accessibility is not yet sufficiently recognised as a problem.
Pubtrans4all set out to develop a prototype vehicle-based boarding assistance system that can be built into new rail vehicles or retrofitted into existing rail vehicles to improve accessibility for all persons. Accessibility for rail vehicles is particularly problematic since rail vehicles have a long service life, so many currently inaccessible vehicles will remain in service well into the future. PubTrans4all will help make existing public transport systems more accessible, improving service for everyone.
The PubTrans4all project's objective is to develop a standard boarding assistance system that can be used on many different types of rolling stock and infrastructures. The boarding assistance system will not simply be a device, but rather include contributing elements that make it possible to effectively use the device to access rail vehicles. The prototype will be developed by a multi-disciplinary consortium including users, public transport operators, academic researchers and manufacturers.
The PubTrans4all project was conducted by a well balanced and geographically diverse consortium. Especially beneficial is the participation of several Eastern European partners since accessibility is not sufficiently recognised as a problem in many of these countries. Accessibility for all is critical to creating an equitable, effective and efficient transport system. The project PubTrans4all will help build a fully accessible rail network.
As part of the process of developing the prototype boarding assistance system, the project will survey state of the art accessibility devices and make recommendations for best practices in the use and operation of these existing devices. The project will include an extensive dissemination program designed to communicate study results widely, but also to help inform the general public and decision-makers about the importance and challenges in providing accessibility for all.
The PubTrans4All project developed a prototype of a vehicle-based boarding assistance system (BAS) that can be installed into new rail vehicles but also retrofitted into existing rail vehicles and can be used on many different types of rolling stock and infrastructures.
As a part of developing a new prototype of a BAS, the consortium surveyed at the beginning of the project state of the art accessibility devices and made recommendations for best practices of use and operation of these devices.
Furthermore an international student contest was held in spring 2010 finding new ideas and innovative solutions for a new BAS. Any new idea improving the interface between platform and vehicle was accepted. In total 38 students from Austria, Hungary, Serbia, Croatia and Bulgaria participated at the contest and submitted their ideas.
After finalising the building phase, the prototype was first factory tested at the site of our consortium partner and lift manufacturer MBB Palfinger. Therefore a test bench (welded steel construction) was built displaying all technical restrictions of a classical UIC-wagon for testing purposes. Next, the prototype of a BAS has been sent to our project partner BDZ in Bulgariaand was installed into a UIC-wagon of the Bulgarian State Railways. Then, the prototype was tested on the railway network in Bulgaria.
From the perspective of the operator and the users the operation of the BAS is easy to handle and user-friendly. Due to the different limitations resulting from the vehicle construction, it was necessary to make several compromises but the developed compromise allows about 99% of all actual wheel chair users to board. In combination with a good personnel service at the entrance the wagons can also become accessible for nearly all passengers.
An efficient and integrated mobility system: Service quality and reliability