INDIMO, TRIPS, and DIGNITY joined forces in Final Conference
Debates about public transport often focus on new infrastructure, multimodal hubs, digitisation, or the use of public space. Whether it is equality, equity, accessibility, or inclusion - the human scale of (digital) infrastructure is often of secondary importance.
INDIMO, TRIPS, and DIGNITY joined forces to showcase their solutions to break down physical and digital barriers that hinder equal access to mobility during their Final Conference, which took place on 7 December 2022 in Brussels, Belgium. The hybrid format of the event allowed the experts from the INDIMO, TRIPS and DIGNITY projects to engage with more than 70 stakeholders in the form of interactive roundtables.
A unique event for three unique projects
The joint event was officially started with introductory statements of Andras Mogyoro from DG MOVE and the responsible CINEA project officer Anca Pasca, who praised the unique inclusive aspects of the three projects. Next, the three project coordinators summarized their main achievements before they handed over the discussion to the audience.
A dozen roundtables enabled the stakeholders to discuss the opportunities to empower user organisations to raise their voices on inclusivity in transport services. After a short exchange among sall groups of participants, the results of these break outs were presented to the wider audience in form of short statements. This engaging format helped to promote exchange between stakeholders and provided a great detailed summary of opinions related to the inclusiveness and accessibility of transport services and their commercial potential.
The way ahead
In addition to these lively exchanges, project partners showcased that mobility providers still have some hurdles to overcome to offer inclusive and barrier-free mobility services. One of them was Laura Alčiauskaitė from the European Network on Independent Living (ENIL), who spoke as a transport user, who experiences the lack of accessibility during her daily commute in a wheelchair.
As part of the TRIPS project, she had a particularly critical view of the authorities, which was backed up by statistics, as the majority of polled people with disabilities were very or fairly dissatisfied with the integrative work of the state and the transport authorities. Luckily, TRIPS and ENIL provided clear-cut solutions by suggesting stronger cooperation between disability experts, NGOs and transport providers through digital education or direct exchange. She highlighted that people with disabilities do not want specialised transport as a dedicated solution but would like to use the same mobility offers as everyone else. Laura Alčiauskaitė summarised her presentation by emphasising that ‘accessibility is a door-to-door issue’.
Take it from here
The event was summarised by several joint recommendations towards city officials and mobility stakeholders from the three EU-funded projects. All three entities agreed that the focus should be on the exchange between policymakers and users. The latter group should be presented in its entirety by involving a wide range of stakeholders, users, and non-users in particular, in the co-design of inclusive and accessible transport products and services.
Furthermore, policymakers should embrace inclusive co-design principles in the next EU transport strategy, in the guidelines for local sustainable urban mobility plans (SUMP) and define key performance indicators to monitor progress.
The full list of recommendations is available here.
Did you miss the conference?
We have recorded the entire event for you to watch it again! Check all presentations and highlights here: