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Creating accessibility in public transportation

Public transportation should be made accessible to everyone, including individuals with disabilities. Alstom has always prioritised accessibility and inclusivity as one of its core values.
Creating accessibility in public transportation
Alstom's work with Fundacion ONCE is a crucial aspect of a comprehensive strategy with a broader international scope

Alstom has always prioritised accessibility and inclusivity as one of its core values. Today, it is a primary objective in Alstom’s ESG strategy, which seeks to bring the benefits of sustainable transport to all.

It is undeniable that in all our train concepts and designs, we consistently develop our new models with a view to improving and adding value for our customers around the world. Analysis and feedback from actual passengers play a crucial role in this process and are the basis for our company's evolution in the transport industry. This is precisely why, since 2019, Alstom has been working with the Spanish organisation, Fundación ONCE (Fundación ONCE para la Cooperación e Inclusión Social de Personas con Discapacidad) to gain insights from those who face challenges in accessing public transport.

Established in 1988, Fundación ONCE aims to enhance the quality of life for disabled groups, representing approximately 3.8 million individuals and their families in Spain. Their focus lies in promoting workplace inclusion and improving accessibility through the implementation of training programs and the creation of universally accessible environments, products, and services.

Alstom Spain actively works with Fundación ONCE to enhance the accessibility and inclusivity of their trains. Flagship projects like metros for Barcelona’s operator TMB, airport shuttles for Catalonian operator FGC, or high-capacity urban trains for Spanish operator Renfe, have been successfully assessed with Fundación ONCE.

Alstom seeks guidance from Fundación ONCE experts, many of whom have disabilities themselves, enabling them to provide valuable insights and recommendations based also on their personal experiences. Santiago Ruiz González, a long-standing Project Manager and Expert in Accessibility and Innovation at Fundación ONCE, is a wheelchair user who, among many other contributions, brought to Alstom's attention a specific issue faced by many individuals with disabilities when using the metro.

After receiving the analysis conducted by an expert from Fundación ONCE, Alstom carefully considers the findings and proceeds to develop a product aimed at enhancing accessibility in public transportation in Spain. Upon presenting Santiago's case study to Alstom, a solution was promptly devised. Jaime Borrell, the Business Development Director for Alstom Spain, expressed that the collaboration was fruitful.

Alstom provided recommendations for enhancing accessibility for individuals with disabilities on the new 7000 and 8000 Series Metropolis metro trains in Barcelona. The design enhancements encompassed wider automatic doors, acoustic warning lights, intercoms positioned at an ideal height for wheelchair users, dedicated “next stop” pushbuttons, emergency handles, colour contrast signage and even digital image analysis to detect wheelchair users on-board, or priority seats occupation. From this project alone, some 50 new trains entered commercial service in March 2023 and are still being delivered today.

A successful alliance, Alstom and Fundación ONCE extended their collaboration in 2023 with the Foundation taking on the role of key strategic advisor to Alstom for the enhancement of mobility solutions. Today, they are an essential advisor, reviewing Alstom’s products that are in the design phase, giving valuable advice on how accessibility can be improved for people with disabilities as well as those without.

Alstom's work with Fundacion ONCE
is a crucial aspect of a comprehensive strategy with a broader international scope. Today, Alstom conducts workshops that employ virtual reality and full-scale train prototypes for evaluating and enhancing the accessibility of our train interiors for individuals with disabilities. Bringing numerous advantages for all, Alstom is dedicated to enhancing the inclusivity of our trains on a global scale. This perfectly aligns with our fundamental core values of promoting diversity and inclusivity, fostering mutual growth and resilience through our differences and our similarities.

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