B. Rüger, P. Tauschitz, G. Simic:
"Boarding assistance devices - worldwide overview";
RTR Railway Technical Review (eingeladen),
Improving accessibility means either creating a level-boarding situation by adjusting the platform height according to the vehicle floor height, or providing boarding assistance systems that enable mobility impaired passengers to reach rolling stock floor levels from the platforms at different levels. There are two main types of boarding assistance systems: platform-based and vehicle-based versions.
Platform-based systems are usually manually operated devices being simple to apply. At least one device is needed at each station or platform that is usually only suitable and designed according to wheelchair user´s specifications and needs. One person per station should be available as boarding assistance system operator. Before the train arrives at the station, the boarding assistance system must be moved to the expected position on the platform where the adapted vehicle for wheelchair users is expected to stop.
The advantage of all vehicle-based devices is that they are always available, i.e. at the right time and place and in all stations) as they are stored on the train-vehicle. This enables people with reduced mobility to travel even without making travel-arrangements in advance. This is very important for both the users and the accessibility policy of the railway operators.
The on-board conductors are trained to operate this kind of boarding equipment, which is more convenient for operators than the use of platform-based boarding assistance systems.
For each boarding assistance system there are two main technologies: ramps or lifts; and, two sources of powering them, manual or electro-mechanical.
A short overview of existing systems that are typically used for high floor vehicles is given in the following paper.
accessibility, boarding assistance devices
Projektleitung Norbert Ostermann:
Öffentlicher Verkehr - Barrierefreiheit für alle
Erstellt aus der Publikationsdatenbank der Technischen Universität Wien.