The Community of Madrid increases Metro's accessibility with the installation of new lifts at Bilbao and Plaza Elíptica stations
The Community of Madrid continues to invest in improving and modernising the Metro facilities, where it already has 199 stations accessible to people with reduced mobility, following the launch of seven new lifts at Bilbao station today and another five at Plaza Elíptica last week. Both were used by more than 34 million passengers over the past year.
The Regional Minister for Transport, Mobility and Infrastructure, Ángel Garrido, visited Bilbao station following the modernisation works that have been carried out and the installation of the new lifts.
"Disability should not impede the use of public transport. For this reason, the Accessibility and Inclusion Plan promoted by Metro de Madrid not only demonstrates the company's commitment to making the underground network accessible, but also affirms its commitment to inclusion, equal opportunities and the independence of people, whatever their circumstances," said Garrido.
Metro has invested 8 million euros in the modernisation of Bilbao station and the installation of seven lifts. The works have served to modernise the coverings, facilities and technology that had become obsolete. A waterproofing system has also been implemented for all the vaults to prevent water leaks.
In the case of Plaza Elíptica station, putting into operation the five new lifts last Wednesday, at an investment of 4.5 million euros, also represented the completion of significant civil construction works. This is because, in order to install the elevators, it was necessary to implement the associated installations of the shafts and galleries in the mine. The Marcelo Usera vestibule has also been remodelled in order to incorporate two of the lifts.
"During the Covid-19 crisis, Metro has continued to circulate and work on all the scheduled plans, as is shown by Bilbao station. The execution of these works and investments contributes not only to the improvement of this transport service but also to the reactivation of economic activity and the generation of employment," added the minister.
ACCESSIBILITY AND INCLUSION PLAN
The installation of these 12 new lifts is part of the Madrid underground's 2016-20 Accessibility and Inclusion Plan, which was agreed with the Community of Madrid's Committee of Representatives of People with Disabilities (CERMI Community of Madrid) and has a budget of 145.7 million euros. The project is co-financed by the Community of Madrid and the European Union through the European Regional Development Fund 2014-20.
The main objective of the Plan is to incorporate 89 lifts in 33 stations of the Madrid underground network. It also provides for the installation of other elements (tactile flooring, double handrails or signage in Braille) to ensure increased accessibility.
When the current Plan ends, 73% of the Metro stations will be accessible. The actions to be carried out will make it possible to improve the mobility of the 322,000 Madrid citizens with disabilities. 98% of the investment of this Metro de Madrid Accessibility and Inclusion Plan has already been made or committed.
The new lifts are being placed in stations that have connections with at least two Metro lines, as well as in places where they have been requested by entities that assist people with disabilities. Metro is currently working on the installation of another 17 lifts in the Gran Vía (4 lifts), Tribunal (7) and Príncipe de Vergara (6) stations. It has also started replacing 13 lifts in 7 other stations with more modern and efficient models.
Metro de Madrid is one of the most accessible metro networks in the world and the regional government's commitment is to continue working to make it even more so. Thus, work is already underway to design the next Accessibility Plan to continue developing a network that had 677.4 million passengers in 2019.