In compliance with the requirement of the Disability Discrimination Act, which gives equal opportunities to handicapped people, including wheelchair users, low-floor buses in Bremen have been fitted with MBB passenger lifts for many years. The latest tender from the city’s public transport company (BSAG) for 39 low-floor buses has been won by MAN, and the buses will again be accessible to wheelchairs users via MBB Medilifts.
Likewise, the 34 low-floor trams currently in service in Bremen, manufactured by Bombardier, have been fitted with MBB lifts since 2005. A further nine accessible trams will be added to the fleet in 2010.
Bremen is not the only city in Germany to ensure that public transport is fully accessible. In Heidelberg, the Rhein-Neckar-Verkehr (RNV) is adding five low-floor accessible buses to its fleet. The Mercedes Benz Citaros will be equipped with an electrically operated lift from MBB Palfinger with dedicated wheelchair spaces available inside the bus. More accessible buses are scheduled to be purchased in the next few years. In Munich the local public transport company (MVG) already has accessible trams in service, with a further ten on order.
It is not only buses and trams that are now accessible. In Austria the national railway (ÖBB) has fitted 46 MBB TR1000 train lifts to their high-speed trains.
ÖBB has placed a further order for 88 lifts. The TR1000 is suitable for rail carriages with a floor height up to 1,000mm and offers safety and comfort to wheelchair passengers.