The 27th PASSAGE (Passenger Accessibility Solutions Support and Action Group for Europe), Working Group meeting took place on 23 and 24 January in Paris, kindly hosted by UIC and SNCF. 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 SBB, RENFE, RFI, TRENITALIA, TRAFIKVERKET, EUROSTAR, SNCF, NMBS/SNCB, CFL, DSB and MÁV START attended the meeting.
During the first day, the meeting was hosted at UIC headquarters. As 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 about the future legal framework for PRM with the special participation of a representative of the CIT.
Among other issues, during this year, the group’s work will focus on Digitalization with a benchmarking of best practices and the analysis of the state of the art on Digital Accessibility. On this occasion, the participants had the opportunity to meet the webmaster of the SNCF accessibility department, who gave details of the main elements used by company to develop an accessible website.
The presentation of the Third Forum Access Solutions was also very much appreciated last December in Paris. The event, organised by SNCF, aimed to bring together associations, institutions and start-ups that proposed practical solutions focusing on accessibility problems.
On the second day, the meeting was kindly hosted by SNCF at their office near Gare de l’Est Station in which there is a special room dedicated to Paul Gentil, former CEO of SNCF and UIC.
This day was dedicated to the project of improvement of the IRS dedicated to Station Pictograms from the PRM point of view and the new interface of the PRM Assistance Booking Tool.
David Sarfatti (AVANCIAL) presented the latest statistics in the use of the UIC Booking Assistance Tool as well as the new interface of the tool to be validated and developed in the next few months.
Finally, the participants went on a technical visit to Gare de l’Est Station. During the visit the participants examined the different elements regarding PRM accessibility and service at the station as well as new rolling stock especially adapted and used for regional services. Furthermore, the participants had a special opportunity to visit a restricted area under the station, where there is a well-preserved bunker used during the second World War as a shelter for trains to travel eastwards – efficient but not at all accessible.
The next meeting will take place in London on 22 and 23 May 2018.