“There are three and a half years left to make everything accessible”

Despite the development efforts made in recent years in cities – in particular subways and intercity buses – public transport remains an obstacle course for people with reduced mobility. Progress on these subjects is all the more important since what is a need for people with disabilities constitutes comfort for all, seniors, pregnant women, people with strollers, temporarily physically incapacitated, i.e. a total of two in five French people. .

For Carole Guéchi, ministerial delegate for accessibility at the Ministry of Ecological Transition, it is time to consider accessibility not as a constraint but as a means of enhancing one’s heritage or one’s service.

In APF-France handicap-IFOP consultation, conducted in 2020, eight in ten respondents complained of accessibility problems when traveling. Where are we today in terms of accessibility in public transport in the city?

The 2014 ordinance on the accessibility of establishments open to the public, public transport, residential buildings and roads for people with disabilities allowed three, six or nine years to comply. with the handicap law of 2005, which initially counted on 2015. Subject to submitting a programmed accessibility agenda (Ad’ap) before March 31, 2019.

It is in public transport that the progress is most notable, unlike roads or establishments open to the public. Rail transport, in particular, has made great efforts. In total, at the end of 2020, there were 320 accessible stations out of the 732 targeted by the Ad’ap, including 120 in Ile-de-France. Each time, it is work lasting several years, particularly expensive, to adapt the station and raise the platforms. There are three and a half years left to complete. The State, as a co-financier, has just put 120 million euros back on the table as part of the France Relance plan to try to make up for the delay on construction sites, due to the Covid-19 …

What about the metro, often presented as a real black spot in the mobility chain?

Despite the arrangements made in particular to help the mentally and cognitively impaired, the deaf and hard of hearing or the blind and visually impaired – installation of sound beacons to identify the entrances and the main services of the station / station, clearing the paths of any obstacle, accompaniment of staircase crossings by guiding elements and step marking devices, etc. – the metro, and in particular the Paris metro, remains very inaccessible to people with motor disabilities.

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