The 24th PASSAGE (Passenger Accessibility Solutions Support and Action Group for Europe), Working Group meeting took place on 21 and 22 March in Vienna, kindly hosted by OBB. It was chaired by Mr Hans Christian Kierketeerp Moller (DSB), president of the group. UIC was represented by Ms Vanessa Pérez, Advisor for the Passenger Department. Representatives from ÖBB, SBB, RENFE, NS, RFI, TRENITALIA, ZSSK, TRAFICVERKET, ČD, SNCF, NMBS/SNCB, DSB and MÁV START attended the meeting.
As is usual during these meetings, the participants gave an updated view on the situation of PRMs in their countries and the new developments of accessibility policies in their companies, which led to debates about the different situations that were explained by attendees.
Next, the group discussed the results of the report about Ticketing Machines, one of the topics they had been working on during the last year. It was agreed to create a specific place on the UIC website to explain Passage and to make this report public as an example of the activity of the group.
During this year, the group will work on the carriage of scooters for PRMs by train, which is a good example of new tendencies generating new problems to be solved in many countries. Future projects of the group were also discussed, and it was agreed to keep on working on some of these ideas so they will take shape over the next year.
David Sarfatti (AVANCIAL) presented the latest statistics in the use of the UIC Booking Assistance Tool. The growth of the PRM ABT’s network was also announced with two more users (MÁV START and ZSSK). During the meeting it was agreed to go ahead with functionality improvements and study further developments of the tool in future meetings.
On the second day, participants went on a technical visit to Vienna’s Hauptbahnhof, the main station in Vienna, where major efforts have been made in the field of accessibility in the design of this brand-new station.
The next meeting will take place in Bratislava in June 2017.