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Salzburg - AENEAS Measure #2
Public transport training for passengers and drivers

At the practical training much emphasis was put on how to avoid falling in a moving bus.
The training involved a real-life travel on a bus with small groups of trainees.
Trainees waiting for a bus at the city's famous "horsewash fountain".


Falls and accidents are a very serious threat to older people during public transport trips. One bad experience can make people stop using buses. The fear of falling again and other stressful situations leads especially older people to abandon using public transport.

Particularly with regard to the ageing of the society it is important to preserve the self-determined life of older people and see the autonomy in mobility as one significant assumption. Itís necessary to design the products and services that foster this basic need of citizen to ensure their social participation.

Regarding this it is necessary to minimize barriers that restrain older people from using public transport. So we see it as a basic necessity to meet the needs of older people to allow a life long or at least extended, safely use of public transport services. The main aim is to fulfill the preconditions to keep older people active as long as possible, to avoid extra costs due to the need of special transport services and for sure to keep them as customers as long as possible.

Training for passengers and drivers

In order to encourage older people to use buses and to give them tips and tricks how to prevent accidents, the Salzburg bus operator StadtBus and ZGB started a training scheme, both for passengers and drivers.

The passenger training is promoted in local media, information stands, external events, by partner organisations etc. Every participant gets a written confirmation with the detailed information about meeting point, how to get there and so on. During the passenger training sessions people learn in small groups how to get on the bus, how to stand safely during the travel and how to get a seating easily. To ensure the sustainability of this measure a transport safety booklet was published, and a variety of other marketing measures that address the target group of older people was successfully introduced.

Additional to the passenger training it is necessary to make sure that also the driver knows about the needs of older people. Thatís why a special training scheme is integrated in the driver training. To make the training easily transferable to different cities all over Europe tool boxes for passengers and drivers have been designed and will be presented at the Salzburg Work Shop in November 2010.

Lessons learnt

The evaluation of this measure shows that safe mobility can be relearned Ė even or especially in higher age. Older people are able to gain back routine in stressful situations by empowering personal resources, expanding skills and abilities. The training helps to reduce fears and to train save behaviour. Along with the training there is a safety-brochure which contains all the topics of the training and defines safe behaviour in public transport. So the participants donít have to remember everything during the training. They can unhurriedly refer to the main content of the Training at home booklet.

The success of this training lies in the equal cooperation between the NGO Centre for Generations & Accessibility and the StadtBus Salzburg. In that way it is made sure that competences in requirements of older people and mobility as well as know how in public transport is included in the training. Once designed the implementation of the training is relatively cheap, which however requires good preparation and a good knowledge of the needs of older people. It is crucial to have a professional trainer or at least a person that really likes the issue. Cooperation with a social organisation is preferable.

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