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Boarding technologies for mobility device users at unattended railway stations
Daniel Blais,Transport Canada, Transportation Development Centre
Ottawa, Canada (Presenter)
Situation/purpose of study
Boarding a train for a passenger using a wheelchair is a long-standing issue in Canada; however, there are potentially low-cost and high impact solutions available. At Montreal’s Gare Central and Québec City’s Gare du Palais, a raised platform level with the high-floor rail car is present. This raised platform allows wheelchairs to board a train with the use of a boarding ramp to bridge the gap between rail car entrance and the platform. At other stations along Canada’s intercity passenger rai network there is no such raised platform. Access to the high-floor passenger rail cars requires a substantial level change (approximately 54”). This presents a problem for persons who cannot negotiate stairs and those using wheelchairs or other mobility devices. Many of the stations and stops are also unstaffed, further complicating the situation.
The objective of this research is to investigate, identify and test a potential technological solution that could be deployed to assist passengers using mobility devices board trains where the station platform is not level with the car floor.
Approach and/or methodology
The objective will be achieved through the following tasks: outline relevant Canadian and US standards and regulations for accessibility of rail cars; consultations with passengers who use mobility aids to identify passenger travel needs; consultations with railway operating staff to identify operational needs; and identification and testing of technological solutions to meet passenger travel and operational needs.
This is a study in progress; preliminary results will be available in time for the Summit. Expected completion is December 2014.
Abstract of paper from the Destinations for All Summit 2014 in Montreal http://www.destinationsforall2014.com/en/