A meeting to evaluate the situation and determine the next steps. This is the conference hosted a few days ago by Ulss Scaligera (local public healthcare unit), where representatives from local public transportation firms discussed accessible transportation. The initiative is part of the regional project Social and Inclusive Tourism, which is included in the Veneto region’s social agenda.
The Veronese buses. In Verona, the whole urban network is wheelchair-accessible, while the suburban network is more than 60% accessible. In both situations, a blue mark next to the entrance in the centre indicates that the bus is accessible for people with disabilities. Furthermore, the new buses are outfitted with a manual activation platform and certain high-visibility changeable message displays, as well as an on-board vocalized announcing stops; measures to make travel easier for the people with low vision.
Regarding the accessibility of the Catullo, the airport has made considerable progress in recent years, allowing people with disabilities to be brought to the plane, even by wheelchair, using specific means. Another service that the Catullo provides is “familiarization,” which allows travellers, particularly those with autism, to get comfortable in the airport the day before departure, easing the trip experience for passengers and their companions. A service that had been used by 11 families last year and two in the first half of 2023. Furthermore, the airport also considers the “invisible”, or people with disabilities that are not so evident, who can request a particular strap that helps workers identify those with special requirements.
To remove architectural barriers, the Malcesine-Monte Baldo cable car has also made investments in both primary and secondary structures. In fact, the facilities can accommodate any kind of disability, and staff is always present, from the boarding process to the moment the arrival at the station, allowing for a transport in complete safety.
Lastly, Navigarda outlined the steps it takes to provide more accessible modes of transportation. First and foremost, all boats have boarding passageways that can accommodate all different kinds of strollers. Also, the principal ports of call and motorboats are outfitted with special portable ramps to bridge the disparities in levels, and on the big, fast catamarans, a system of wheelchair retention has been developed to assure their safety.
A few numbers. These are answers to thousands of people’s needs. In 2022, about 16 thousand people with reduced mobility took a plane to the Catullo, and in this semester, they have already reached eight thousand; 15 thousand travelled by boat on Lake Garda; and 3.000 disabled people went up with the cable car of Malcesine towards the mountain, and according to the projection, the number will grow.