UITP’s ‘Lecco declaration’ creates framework to improve transit accessibility

July 18, 2022
The declaration includes four principles organizations can use to build on and improve upon their own implementation of steps to deliver more accessible transit systems.

Last week, the International Association of Public Transport (UITP), the Association for the Advancement of Assistive Technology and European Network of Independent Living signed a declaration in the Italian city of Lecco, aimed at creating more accessible transit systems.

UITP says the Lecco declaration creates “a crucial framework aligning key principles that organizations can build on to improve their own implementation of accessibility.” The declaration sets the stage for a Memorandum of Understanding to be signed later this year.

The Lecco declaration includes four principles for more accessible mobility, including:

  • Freedom of movement is a human right and personal mobility should be guaranteed to all.
  • Mobility is related to other rights such as participation, access to education and employment.
  • Public transport supports social and environmental policies and values. It connects places and people and fosters social and economic development. Everyone should be able to use it.
  • Technological developments have the potential to reduce or overcome access barriers providing new solutions.

The three entities to sign the Lecco declaration are part of TRIPS, a European Union-funded project, and have been working with transit providers and users with disabilities to create design concepts aimed at removing barriers and enhancing transit accessibility.

UITP explains transit plays a key role in keeping cities and regions moving and building more inclusive and participative societies will mean those opportunities can be enjoyed by passengers with different access needs.

“When discussing accessibility, it is challenging to make sure all the different transport stakeholders are on board with such measures and coordinating their efforts,” explained UITP Secretary General Mohamed Mezghani. “The Lecco declaration is important because it forces the sector to focus their attention on the user. We have to educate the sector that we are not only doing this for persons with reduced mobility, but we are doing this for everyone.”

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