International Day of Persons with Disabilities
Since 1992, December 3 has been the United Nations International Day of Persons with Disabilities. This day aims to promote an understanding of disability issues and to mobilise support for the dignity, right and wellbeing of people with disabilities—goals which underpin our commitment to making mobility more inclusive and accessible to all.
It is on this occasion that we have chosen to launch our "Group Accessibility Campaign" in order to reaffirm our commitments and our accessibility policy, and to highlight the actions carried out across our worldwide networks.
Spotlight on visible and invisible vulnerabilities
Since the launch of Keoscopie, our lifestyle and mobility observatory, we have conducted annual studies to understand the mobility challenges faced by citizens and ensure equitable access to our transport solutions.
Far from being limited to physical disabilities, obstacles to using public transport include a range of temporary or permanent vulnerabilities from vision or hearing disabilities to mental or cognitive impairments (illiteracy, limited orientation skill) issues associated with ageing, pregnancy and pushchair use.
Chiffres clés30 Million
French citizens are limited in their mobility (Keoscopie)1 Billion
people worldwide live with a permanent disability (World Bank)
Focus on accessible mobility
We strive to offer barrier-free transport options across our networks, going above and beyond the requirements set by authorities in the countries where we provide services. We advise and accompany public transport authorities in developing and rolling out strategies and investments to boost accessibility by adapting rolling stock (buses, trains), infrastructure (platforms, stations) and passenger information systems so they are tailored to the needs of vulnerable individuals.
In addition to our main transport solutions for individuals with reduced mobility (PMR), we offer alternative travel modes. For example, Keolis has entered into a partnership with Wheeliz—a peer-to-peer, wheelchair-adapted car rental website—that enables clients to rent wheelchair accessible vehicles directly from mobility-impaired individuals in several French cities, including Rennes, Paris, Caen, Aix-en-Provence, Le Mans and Bayonne.
Support, welcome and train
In London, Rennes, Lyon, and Lille, we provide personalised support services to vulnerable individuals to empower them and enhance their autonomy.
More broadly, feet-on-the-ground presence is a priority in our customer service culture and we train employees to assist vulnerable passengers by identifying and understanding the difficulties they might face.
- In Melbourne, Australia, Yarra Trams agents are trained to assist people with communication difficulties such as aphasia, deafness, mental impairments, non-English speakers.
- This year, drivers and agents in Quimper, France, were trained to assist people with invisible disabilities, including mental, psychological or neurological conditions such as Parkinson's, Alzheimer's and stroke symptoms.
Inclusion in the workplace
As a socially responsible employer, Keolis is committed to the principle of equal opportunity in the workplace and recruitment process.
By focusing on skills-based recruitment and local partnerships to protect jobs, the Group recorded a 22% increase in the number of employees with disabilities within its workforce between 2018 and 2019.
Building on its commitment to cultivating inclusion in the workplace, Keolis continues to train its staff on accessibility to better serve customers with disabilities. For example, employees in Versailles are trained in sign language to assist hearing-impaired individuals and enhance their customer experience.
Accessible passenger information systems
Passenger information is an essential lever to enhancing travel for vulnerable people.
In addition to the ADM Mobility Assistant created by our subsidiary Kisio Digital, we have carried out several initiatives to integrate accessible information systems into our networks:
- In Lyon, Aix en Provence, Lille, Rennes, Tours, Bordeaux, Caen or Paris (TPMR Pam 75 service), our partnership with Elioz offers deaf and hearing-impaired passengers the option to chat with agents for free, using their computer or their smartphone to dialogue in French sign language, French spoken language or real-time transcriptions of spoken words.
- In Wales, an app enables deaf and hearing-impaired travellers to interact with our agents in British sign language, via an interpreter over a video call (Interpreter Now)
- In the summer of 2019, amid construction work impacting lines C and A of the Bordeaux tram, information about disruptions was made available in French sign language and subtitled on the network's website throughout the duration of the work.
Promoting accessible mobility also requires educational actions. In tandem with Bordeaux Métropole and Wimoov, we created a “mobility platform” with hotlines installed in the 28 municipalities of the metropole and run by mobility agents. Their mission is to help passengers (notably seniors) familiarise themselves with the network and introduce them to new mobility solutions adapted to their needs including ticketing and itinerary search solutions.
80% of elderly passengers who have benefited from this service now travel more regularly and feel more comfortable in getting about.
Collaborations with actors providing services to people with disabilities
To optimise the passenger experience of individuals in fragile situations, we work closely with disability organisations.
We have a partnership with the Handéo association that deploys the Cap’Handéo Mobility Services certification. This certification, which covers five types of disabilities (auditory, visual, motor, mental and psychological), enables French networks and transport for people with reduced mobility services to guarantee customers high quality and secure services throughout their journey. To date, three subsidiaries (Montargis, Caen - Twisto Access service, Lyon - Optiguide service) have been certified.
- In Tours, we are working with associations such as the Valentin Huy Association to test and improve customer journeys in buses and trams.
- In Caen, user workshops bringing together people with disabilities and our experts were created to enhance the accessibility features of the mobile application
- In Paris, Pam 75 has published on its website a welcome and support booklet in an easy to read and understand format as part of a collaboration with the Dunkirk chapter of the Association des Papillons Blancs disability support group.