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Better infrastructure for public transport

La Rochelle

Creating a fully accessible public transport network requires the adaptation of public roads, bus stops and vehicles.

Implementing sustainable mobility

As part of its efforts to promote the popularity of public transportation and reduce traffic congestion, the Urban Community of La Rochelle devised an accessibility scheme in close partnership with representatives of associations for people with visual, hearing, mental or physical disabilities.

The aim was to adapt public transport infrastructure and equipment throughout La Rochelle Urban Community in order to make them accessible to everyone, including those with reduced mobility.

How did the measure progress?

An Accessibility Committee was formed in 2005, comprising representatives of associations for the disabled, in order to reach an agreement on priorities. In 2006, these stakeholders adopted the Accessibility Scheme for Public Transportation, which defined step by step the tasks to be undertaken between 2005 and 2010 in order to achieve a fully accessible public transportation network.

Practical work on improving accessibility began in 2006, in relation to the buses, bus stops and bus station:

  • buses with low-floor buses were fitted with on-board audio-visual information displays;
  • bus stops were improved with higher platforms to close the gap between the pavement and the vehicle, real-time information, improved signage, and the addition of pictograms on the public transport network maps to indicate fully accessible bus stops; and
  • the bus station was refurbished and fitted with automatic doors and fully accessible information and ticket sales desks.

In 2008, an accessibility guide for the visually impaired was published.

What were the outcomes of the measure?
  • Within the CIVITAS timeframe, 107 bus stops were made fully accessible.
  • There was near unanimous acceptance (98 percent) for the level of physical accessibility to public transport among the public in November 2008.
  • In November 2008, 86 percent of bus users said they were aware that bus stops had been made more accessible.
  • Over 60 percent of buses in the city’s fleet complied with accessibility standards by the end of 2008.

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