Doppelmayr: A good transport system is socially inclusive

Doppelmayr: A good transport system is socially inclusive

At the COP23  Conference on 15 November in Bonn, Germany, Doppelmayr interviewed Mi Teleférico CEO César Dockweiler about the new measures that his company is taking to increase inclusive accessibility to transportation in La Paz, Bolivia.

The cable car in Bolivia is a massive public transport system that specifically considers and adjusts its prices for people with low income. Therefore, the price policy of La Paz transportation system is designed to offer fair prices affordable to everyone.  Apart from this policy, the cable car company “Mi Teleférico” has specially trained personnel to support people with disabilities (wheelchair users, blind persons, deaf and dumbs and also mentally disabled) in using the cable car.

These groups should be able to move safely and freely thereby being included in the social fabric of the city. Being able to use a good working transportation system empowers them to make their own decisions in moving from one place to the other. Before the implementation of the cable car in La Paz, this wasn’t the case. The mountainous topography of La Paz, the street conditions (small pathways, crowded streets, traffic jams etc.) as well as the active commercial streets and street markets didn’t allow people with disabilities to move safely and freely. Transport therefore excluded people with disabilities from social happening and activities.

For example, it used to be very difficult for people in a wheel chair to move from one place to another by themselves. They would quite often depend on the help and time of others or would have to organize and pay for a taxi to in order move around. This could be difficult, especially when it comes to important appointments, like going to see a doctor and not wanting to rely on other people. With the use of the cable car where the stations and the transport system is aligned in considering these groups of people and the specialized “Mi Teleférico” team, this issue can be addressed. Now, the professional team knows how to take care about blind people by producing and implementing the first regulation braille system in Bolivia.

Signals have also been implemented to assist deaf people. Assistance is also provided for mentally disabled people.  People with disabilities can now make their own decisions in a safe environment whilst being integrated and included into the city´s life. A good working, well-thought out and designed transport system leads to freedom, mobilization and inclusiveness.

Article by Carmen Hobitsch
Photo Credits: Doppelmayr (CC)