Easy access to public transport, FNB Stadium for people with disabilities

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Pretoria – Government says that access to public transport facilities and FNB Stadium will be easy and convenient for people with physical challenges.

This as thousands of people are streaming in to the stadium in Johannesburg and public viewing sites to pay homage to the later former President Nelson Mandela. Official proceedings for the national memorial event will begin at 11am.

At FNB Stadium, wheelchair access is available on Level 2 of the stadium. It is accessible via Gate J, Turnstile Number 12.

The Gautrain system provides facilities for mobility-impaired passengers as well as passengers with special needs. Wheelchair-friendly access is provided at all stations, on all trains and on every second bus.

Gautrain has accessibility features to aid people with difficulties in walking, gripping, reaching or balancing - including non-slip surfaces, handrails and handholds.

Blind and partially sighted people are assisted through the consistent use of colour contrasts, clear signage and lighting, non-reflective surfaces, tactile surfaces, audible as well as visual announcements.

Passengers that are hard-of-hearing are assisted through induction loops and visually through clear signage.

Government said Metrorail stations are equipped with facilities for people with disabilities and higher-than-normal passenger numbers, besides other factors.

The Rea-Vaya buses and its stations are equipped to enable the easy mobility for those with physical challenges including raised platforms, ramps leading up to the stations, lifts onto the buses, handrails on either side of the ramps as well as rest rails at the stations.

The window height of the ticketing booth is lower to accommodate people in wheelchairs and the booths have also been designed so that there is enough space to allow people in wheelchairs to work there.

For visually impaired commuters, government said the buses’ ramps have lights on either sides and specific colours are used inside the station; for example, there are yellow blocks at the areas where the bus doors will open for boarding.

Each station also has an electronic variable message system in different languages for the hearing impaired. Complementary buses can accommodate at least one wheelchair and have a kerbside lift, while each articulated bus – which has level boarding – can cater for two wheelchairs. Complementary buses also have grab rails and lower stairs on the kerbside, making for easy access.

The buses also feature luminous floor strips and textured handrails to help guide the visually impaired to the seats and exits.

Visual and audio communication systems are used on the buses, and there are push buttons so that less mobile passengers can alert the driver if they need more time to get off the bus. – SAnews.gov.za

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