The 25th PASSAGE (Passenger Accessibility Solutions Support and Action Group for Europe), Working Group meeting took place on 7 and 8 June in Bratislava, kindly hosted by ZSSK. It was chaired by group chairman Mr Hans Christian Kierketeerp Moller (DSB). UIC was represented by Passenger Department Advisor Ms Vanessa Pérez. The meeting was attended by representatives from ÖBB, SBB, RENFE, NS, RFI, TRENITALIA, ZSSK, TRAFIKVERKET, ČD, SNCF, NMBS/SNCB, DSB, MÁV START, SZ and EUROSTAR.
As is usual during these meetings, participants gave an update on the situation of PRMs in their countries and recent developments concerning accessibility policies in their companies. These presentations were followed by discussions and explanations of attendees’ various situations.
It was agreed to continue collaborating closely on current activities regarding the guide dogs policy and the carriage of PRM mobility scooters by train, which is a good example of new trends generating new problems in many countries and the need to develop solutions to these.
David Sarfatti (AVANCIAL) presented the latest statistics on the use of the UIC Booking Assistance Tool. He also announced the growth of the PRM ABT network, with two more users (MÁV START and ZSSK). During the meeting, functionality improvements were presented and further developments of the tool will be discussed at future meetings.
On the second day, participants went on a technical visit from Bratislava main station to Pezinok station in one of ZSSK’s newest push-pull commuter trains, which is also one of its most accessible trains to date.
The next meeting will take place in Madrid from 17 – 18 October 2017.
Please note that an opt-in project (Passage II) has been launched for 2018-2020 so any interested members are welcome to join this group of experts during the coming months.