Helping elderly people in Zagreb use public transport (Croatia)

By News Editor / Updated: 11 Mar 2015
A number of events related to public transport, organised within the CIVITAS ELAN project, have been organised with elderly residents, covering topics ranging from problems and needs to education on how to use public transport safely.
Context 
The number of elderly residents in the City of Zagreb continually increases. In 2001, 14.9 per cent of the population was older than 65, while in 2011 the share has increased to 17 per cent. Mobility is highly important for the quality of their lives. Hence, greater attention should be paid to them and to their safety, particularly in traffic. CIVITAS ELAN set the following goals:
 
  • To improve safety for elderly people in public transport;
  • To improve the reliability of public transport for seniors; and
  • To improve understanding among public transport staff of the needs of elderly people.
In action 

Zagreb invited seniors to express their views, comments and recommendations in order to provide public transport operators with valuable information on how barriers can be removed for older passengers. This led to a dedicated training scheme for drivers and for seniors.

Workshops for seniors
Seventeen workshops were held, mainly in homes for the elderly, with a total of some 500 senior participants. Discussion topics included their habits and needs in moving through the city, as well as challenges and difficulties they face in using public transport and other mobility modes. Workshop participants had the opportunity to talk to the bus and tram drivers of ZET, the local public transport operator. Traffic-police representatives also participated, warning seniors about traffic risks, particularly when crossing streets at street junctions. Many proposals, objections and recommendations were collected, and then passed on to relevant authorities.

Workshops for ZET drivers
Four workshops were held on safety for seniors, drawing bus and tram drivers' attention to seniors' needs in public transport. More than 160 drivers participated. They had the opportunity to discuss their observations and recommendations. A result of the workshops was also direct dialogue between seniors and bus and tram drivers.

Training
A training session for seniors on the safer use of public transport was held at the ZET Terminal. Participants took part in all aspects of safe public transport use, from getting on and off a public transport vehicle, to moving safely within it and using e-tickets.

Brochure for seniors
In order to reach a large number of seniors, including those living outside homes for the elderly, a brochure was developed. This included advice on how to prepare for a public transport ride, how to safely get on a vehicle, how to behave within the vehicle during the ride, how to actively follow the journey, and how to timely prepare for leaving the vehicle safely. The brochure also contained information on the types of tickets available and their use, as well as telephone numbers for obtaining useful information on public transport. 

Promotional video 
In co-operation with the Zagreb Cinema Club, a short promotional video, entitled Alojz and Vlatka, was made on safety and movement of seniors in public transport. Visit the Eltis Videos section to watch the video.
Results 
The seniors showed appreciation for the workshops, in particular emphasising that they were grateful for the attention given to them. They also spoke positively about the new low-floor trams and buses as well as real-time displays at bus stops. They found the brochure with practical advice for seniors in public transport - the first of its kind - highly useful. They also had the same opinion of the Alojz and Vlatka video.

For more information, visit the CIVITAS website.
Topic: 
Collective passenger transport
Transport for people with reduced mobility
Mobility management
Region: 
Southern Europe
Country: 
Croatia
City: 
Zagreb
Contact: 
Davor Silov
Author: 
Lidija Pavic-Rogosic
30 Nov 2012
11 Mar 2015