By Ashfaq Ahmed, Chief Reporter www.gulfnews.com
Dubai: Facilitates for the people with special needs at the Dubai Metro system were put to test Monday with the help of ‘special’ volunteers from all over the UAE.
Though most facilities provided by the Metro to help passengers with special needs take public transport especially the Metro were appreciated by the special needs passengers, they did point out at some ‘barriers’ which needs to be removed to ensure hassle free journey for them. The volunteers from the Ministry of Social Affairs completed the full journey using the available special needs facilities. They went through the whole process of buying the Nol Cards to embarking and disembarking the trains to coming out of stations before filling out a questionnaire given to them by the RTA to get their feedback.
“Facilities for ‘special passengers’ are excellent within the stations and the trains but the access and exit areas on the roads need urgent improvement as they are dangerous for handicapped people,” said Kaltham Obaid Bakheer Al Matrooshi, Manager of Ladies Section at Al Thiqah Club for Handicapped.
Kaltham was part of 13 volunteers with special needs invited to participate in the study organised by the Rail Agency of the Dubai Roads and Transport Authority to find out ‘gaps’ in the facilities provided for the special needs at the metro system.