Special accessibility attendants will be stationed at certain Light Rail stops to assist the elderly and persons with special needs.
The attendants wear bright blue vests that are easy to identify. All the attendants are students who have undergone special training.
Since the Jerusalem Light Rail began operating for the public, dozens of Light Rail stop have been staffed with specially trained attendants who provide handicapped persons with assistance in using the train and getting to know the train and its surroundings.
The teams of attendants, called accessibility teams, have been trained by the staff at Tochnit-Av Transportation Jerusalem, in conjunction with the Ministry of Transportation, to provide guidance and individual assistance to handicapped persons who have impaired vision, hearing, difficulty walking, etc.
All the attendants who were recruited for his job are students in therapy and services fields, such as medicine, social work, communication therapy and occupational therapy. The accessibility teams, who wear bright light blue vests that can be seed from a distance, have been taught to take the initiative and offer help to handicapped persons and to the elderly. The accessibility attendants are patient and are sensitive to the public's needs.
During the initial run-in period, the accessibility teams will be at Light Rail stops in areas where there are many handicapped passengers, such as the multi-service center for the blind, the central bus station, Yad Sarah and Mt. Herzl.
The Accessibility and Special Projects Department at the Transport Ministry initiated the training for the accessibility teams, and the training program was assisted by the Community Relations department of Tochnit-Av Transportation Jerusalem. "This is a very important and ethical project," says Amnon Elian, head of the department at Tochnit-Av. "Jerusalem is celebrating and enjoying the new system, and it is our job to ensure that everyone can participate in the festivities and enjoy the new services offered by the city's new transportation system, and to make sure that they can travel and reach their destinations easily. We view this as an obligation and an important privilege."
"For us, the activities to promote accessibility to public transportation in Jerusalem are a learning model and a role model for other Israeli cities," says Iris Bareket, a lawyer in charge of transportation accessibility projects at the Transport Ministry. "We are in the process of constantly improving in this area all over the country, and Jerusalem is significant milestone in this process."
The accessibility attendants are part of the staff of some 350 train attendants hired by the Transport Ministry and CityPass, the Light Rail concessionaire, to provide information to Light Rail passengers all along the train's route.
Date Published: 21.08.11