Starting from next week Auckland Transport are trialling new markings at a few train stations in a bid to make it easier for those with disabilities, pushing prams or with bikes. They say “concerns have been raised about how difficult it is to know where to stand on the platform to be in the best position to locate the doors (visually impaired passengers) or the ramps (mobility impaired) and be able to board the trains before they depart.”
The trial markings are being installed at Sylvia Park, New Lynn, Avondale and Fruitvale Road Stations for use starting Monday. One of the impacts is that some 3-car trains will stop at different locations on the platform to provide consistency and that may mean doors to the low floor section are further away from the shelter – which AT need to provide more of at most stations. AT also hope that by improving access for those who need to use the middle carriage they can improve dwell times of trains.
The trial will be monitored over a number of months for effectiveness and compliance. Some of the measures being monitored include:
- Mobility Group feedback
- General feedback through all customer channels
- Dwell time analysis
- LE & train Manger feedback
- AT staff general feedback
- Transdev staff general feedback
They say that if the trial is deemed successful then the Platform and Door Markers may be rolled-out across the rail network. Here are what some of the trials look like.
Overall I think this is a good idea and one that should help however I suspect it will need more than just some markings on the platform. Often I people with disabilities, bikes or prams who don’t even realise that the middle low floor car exists and who then struggle up the stairs and in the case of the latter two groups can potentially block doors and aisles.
I’d also like to see AT include information about what train is going to turn up on the platform displays – of which we need more. Showing the length of the approaching train is quite common overseas.