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Trams

Bezbariérová tramvaj

The Prague Public Transport Company has made especially significant progress in the transport of blind persons. In 1996 – 1998, all tram vehicles were equipped with special receivers for the blind. This equipment permits passengers to use a remote control to activate an external announcement providing information regarding the route number and direction of the arriving tram vehicle. The same equipment enables the blind person to confirm to the driver his intent to board the vehicle, and thus increases his safety. Automatic stop announcements in the vehicle's interior help the blind (and of course all other passengers) to orient themselves as to where they are on the route.

Starting in 1996, the first test drives with passengers of the model RT6-N1 low-floor tram took place in the Prague tram network. The height of the floor from the rail surface is 350 mm. An access ramp is located in the space under the floor by the second doors, which permits more comfortable handling of wheelchairs, which have a specially designated location in the vehicle, along with means of securing the wheelchair. Test operation with passengers was interrupted in 1999 due to technical problems, and no additional purchases of this vehicle model are planned for the near future.

Boarding platforms at some trams stops are gradually being reconstructed, permitting barrier-free access. At selected stops where an independent boarding platform cannot be built, a special type of boarding area is being planned, consisting of a certain section of the road surface being raised to the level of the sidewalk (a so-called Vienna-type stop). This type of boarding area is used for the movement of passengers only when a tram vehicle is present at the stop; otherwise it is intended for regular automobile traffic. The raised road surface at the same time leads to a reduction in the speed of automobile traffic and thus increased safety of travellers waiting on the pavement.

 

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