Germany is helping its small towns provide accessible transportation for people with disabilities

Barrier-free transport for people with disabilities in small-town Germany

Barrier-free transport for people with disabilities in small-town Germany

Kreuztal, Werther and the district of Mettmann in North Rhine-Westphalia ensure equal access to transportation

The cities of Kreuztal and Werther, and the district of Mettmann in Germany embrace barrier-free transport as 25 bus stops got refitted to accommodate people with disabilities. Transport Minister of North Rhine-Westphalia Hendrik Wüst gave three funding notices for more than 1.5 million euros.

According to the German Passenger Transport Act (PBefG) public transport has to be easily usable and understandable to every citizen, especially people with disabilities. The target achievement is accessibility by 1 January 2022.

Mobility is crucial to social participation when it comes to people with disabilities

Claudia Middendorf, representative of the state government for people with disabilities and for patients in North Rhine-Westphalia, commented in a press release:

“Accessibility is a crucial part of the social participation of people with disabilities. I welcome the increasing expansion of accessibility in local public transport, which contributes to greater mobility for all citizens".

The district and city of Mettmann will refit 19 bus stops and is receiving a grant of 745,800 euros. The East Westphalian town of Werther, with just about 11,000 people, will convert its two main bus stops. Furthermore, the city of Kreuztal in the Siegen-Wittgenstein district is expanding four of its stops.

Dr. Stephan Kopp, the head of the technical department in the Mettmann district emphasised the importance of this decision, as contributing to the growing interest in public transport, thus, helping in the fight against climate change.

Regardless of the size of these locations, people with disabilities still have the vital need to move around. Equal barrier-free access to transportation can drastically change the quality of life for the disabled and help them play a more active role in society.

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