MyCiTi’s Universal Accessibility Policy today, 27 February 2014, received an award for being one of the most innovative policies in the world in terms of ensuring that all special needs passengers can make use of the service.
The policy was highlighted at an international summit on accessibility, attended by more than 400 experts on accessibility and disability from around world, for being the first universally accessible transport system in South Africa. The event is being hosted at a United Nations office in Vienna today.
‘We are absolutely delighted that our MyCiTi universal access facilities are being recognised globally. The Integrated Rapid Transport system is one of the most significant redress projects for this administration. Not only are we committed to providing safe, affordable and reliable public transport for our communities, but also to ensuring ease of accessibility for our passengers with special needs. This is part of our commitment to broader redress and to making progress possible together with all our residents,’ said the City’s Mayoral Committee Member: Transport for Cape Town, Councillor Brett Herron.
According to the Scientific Advisory Board of Zero Project, the organisation who presented the award: the MyCiTi Integrated Rapid Transport system stands out for its commitment and ability to create accessibility, as its Universal Access Policy is a comprehensive long-term and multi-level effort that includes universal design and attention to the entire journey. The Zero Project is made up of 28 renowned disability and accessibility experts.
The accolade recognised that: all 35 MyCiTi stations and 161 roadside bus stops are universally accessible; all 379 busses have level boarding, spaces for wheelchairs and an audio LED screen; there is a 22,4 km network of accessible walking and cycling pathways; and 15 000 daily passengers have been recorded (2013).
Special needs passengers include, amongst others, people in wheelchairs, those with hearing and visual impairments, the elderly, young children, people carrying heavy baggage, and women travelling alone at night.
‘Our universal access facilities are being acknowledged by cities as far afield as Bangkok, who have been in touch with us to ask for more information, and have expressed their admiration for what has been achieved in a developing country,’ said Councillor Herron.
Transport for Cape Town, which was launched late last year, has set a high standard for universal access.
‘We are pleased that the MyCiTi team’s contribution towards the creation of an inclusive city has been recognised,’ said Councillor Herron.
The Zero Project, initiated by the Essi Foundation and organised in partnership with the World Future Council, advocates the rights of people with disabilities internationally. Its mission is ‘working for a world with zero barriers’. For more information visit their website at www.zeroproject.org.