'Accessible Transport Strategy and Action Plan' of the Ministry of Transport and Infrastructure Introduced

'Accessible Transport Strategy and Action Plan' of the Ministry of Transport and Infrastructure Introduced
'Accessible Transport Strategy and Action Plan' of the Ministry of Transport and Infrastructure Introduced

Minister of Transport and Infrastructure Adil Karaismailoğlu stated that as a ministry, they put accessibility at the center of all applications for transportation, and that they organize accessibility trainings to make accessibility sustainable and raise awareness. Emphasizing that they have created a Digital Platform for Accessibility Awareness Education in Transportation, Karaismailoğlu pointed out that another service is "Mobility Mobile Application for Everyone". Karaismailoğlu said, "This study is a mobile application project developed to provide accessible and safe transportation services to individuals with reduced mobility."

Minister of Transport and Infrastructure Adil Karaismailoğlu spoke at the Launch of the Accessible Transport Strategy and Action Plan 2021-2025 prepared by the ministry; “Our values ​​include the principle of 'Seeing man as the most valuable, perfect and honorable creature'. On top of that, what we do for our elderly and disabled people, who are our most precious assets, will not be enough. Our work on this issue is driven by the increasing participation of our elderly and disabled citizens in social life. In line with global developments and trends, we realize our transportation and infrastructure investments on the axis of mobility, digitalization and logistics. In our mobility-focused strategies and policies, it is of great importance that all segments of the society have uninterrupted, safe and independent access under equal conditions, covering all the links of the transportation chain.


Noting that in these studies, they aimed to meet the transportation and communication needs of citizens with limited mobility without difficulty, Karaismailoğlu said that the elderly and disabled population that will benefit from the "Accessible Transportation Strategy and Action Plan" is not to be underestimated. Emphasizing that the "elderly" population of 65 and over has increased by 10 percent in the last 49 years, Minister of Transport Karaismailoğlu stated that 9,5 percent of the population consists of the elderly. Karaismailoğlu stated that there is at least one elderly person in approximately one of every four households and continued his speech as follows:

“Our elderly ratio, which is still at the world average level; It is predicted that it will increase to 2025 percent in 11, 2040 percent in 16,3 and over 2080 percent in 25. Another segment addressed by the Accessible Transportation Strategy and Action Plan is our 'disabled'. Approximately 15 percent of the world's population and 12 percent of Turkey's population consists of people with disabilities. Our disabled brothers and sisters and elders have suffered a lot during the pandemic that has been going on in our country as well as the whole world for about two years. Our Accessible Transportation Strategy and Action Plan is of critical importance for the future of our country, to remove the obstacles in front of our elderly and disabled citizens, and to encourage their participation in life. We consider it an indicator of our level of development that our entire society, and all our citizens with different needs, have services and accessibility opportunities designed for them.”


Pointing out that the compatibility of accessibility according to public transport vehicle types in Turkey is 86 percent in private public buses, 82 percent in municipal buses, and 14 percent in minibuses, Karaismailoğlu said that the accessibility status of stops according to station types is 95 percent in metros, 93 percent in trams, 30 percent in bus stations, He also stated that it is at the level of 15 percent in buses and piers. Referring to the problems encountered in the accessibility of transportation systems, Karaismailoğlu said that there is a lack of governance and coordination in the execution of activities for accessibility in transportation, along with the low awareness throughout the country about the problems experienced by individuals with limited mobility regarding accessibility in transportation. Expressing that their regulations and inspections are not at a sufficient level, Minister of Transport Karaismailoğlu noted that the institutional capacity for accessibility in transportation and the adaptation of technological innovations to applications are not at a sufficient level.


Pointing out that the level of accessibility of transportation vehicles, transportation infrastructure and superstructures is low and there is a lack of integration between transportation types, Karaismailoğlu made the following assessments:

“We have always stood by our elderly and disabled people in our work during our 19-year government period. The action plan that we are launching today is a requirement of the 'social state' principle expressed in our Constitution. We see the services we provide to disadvantaged individuals as 'the most basic right' of these groups, not 'help'. We enacted the Disability Law in 2005. In the field of transportation in our country; We have implemented rights-based regulations in the Law No. 5378 on the Disabled. With the amendments made in Law No. 4736, we have ensured the accessibility of public transportation services and the free and discounted use of transportation vehicles for our disabled citizens. Like this; We ensured that our disabled citizens participate in social life and benefit from transportation services under the same conditions as everyone else. As the government, we want to eliminate all restrictions, especially the obstacles they encounter in transportation and communication, during the travel process of our disabled brothers and sisters, until they leave their homes during the day and return again.”


Minister of Transport and Infrastructure Karaismailoğlu said that they discussed the Accessible Transportation Strategy and Action Plan studies with a wide range of focus groups with the participation of public institutions, private sector companies, local governments, non-governmental organizations and universities. We conducted 8 field investigations. We have prepared 39 technical reports. We formed 35 Working Groups. We held 23 online meetings. We organized 12 technical workshops. In line with the opinions of our stakeholders, we determined the purpose-target-action relations and clarified the criteria that guide the document such as measurement criteria and monitoring frequency. We submitted our prepared document to the opinion of 274 of our stakeholders and received 950 opinions. Our final document is the product of such a strong collaborative effort. Our study, which was prepared with the common mind, cooperation and effort of the relevant parties, was published as a Presidential Circular in the Official Gazette dated October 2, 2021. In this intense and sensitive work, 33 separate actions and 90 separate steps related to these actions were planned.”


Karaismailoğlu, who stated that they took the approach of 'accessibility in transportation for everyone, everywhere and at all times' while preparing the Accessible Transportation Strategy and Action Plan, said, “In all of our works; We have set ourselves the vision of 'creating a transportation network that eliminates differences in every field'. As in many of our projects, we aim to be a pioneer in making transportation services accessible to everyone.”

Minister of Transport Karaismailoğlu stated that they have determined 6 basic strategic objectives by considering the priority needs, and they will increase awareness about accessibility in transportation, strengthen the management structure, regulation and supervision, develop institutional capacity, ensure the accessibility of transportation infrastructures and public transportation vehicles, and ensure the accessibility of land, air, iron, sea and transportation vehicles. He noted that they will strengthen the integration of all newly developing modes of transportation together with urban transportation types.


Karaismailoğlu also touched upon the main objectives determined in line with the strategic objectives and continued his speech as follows:

“First of all, we will raise awareness of accessible transportation in all segments of our society. We will keep the coordination alive in terms of accessibility in transportation. We will ensure that the work done is monitored and evaluated. We will develop the necessary legal and administrative legislation in this regard. We will ensure the determination of data regarding accessibility in transportation. We will improve our Research and Development capacity. While ensuring the continuity of awareness trainings on accessibility in transportation within a plan, we will also ensure that it becomes an element of professional competence. We will prioritize the concept of service quality in accessible transportation. We will support universal design and innovations in this regard. We will ensure terminal and station accessibility of transportation structures. We will also make the ticketing system easy and effective. We will ensure integrated, uninterrupted and accessible travel in all modes of transport. In all this participatory and meticulous work, we will not just set goals and strategies and let go. We will proceed with the participation and contributions of responsible and cooperative institutions and organizations under the leadership of our ministries. Action steps will be regularly monitored and evaluated electronically by our ministry.”


Stating that as the Ministry of Transport and Infrastructure, they put accessibility at the center of all applications for transportation, Karaismailoğlu stated that they organized accessibility trainings to make accessibility sustainable in transportation and to raise awareness. Emphasizing that they have created a Digital Platform for Accessibility Awareness Education in Transportation, Karaismailoğlu made the following evaluations:

“While raising the awareness of all service providers in the public or private sector, we aim to make this issue an element of the professional competence of service providers in the future. We prepared an educational material in a digital and accessible format that everyone can benefit from in this field, and we broke new ground in this field in our country as well. Our aim is to increase the awareness of everyone on accessibility in transportation, from drivers of public transportation vehicles to engineers, designers and all personnel and administrators providing services in the field of transportation; to ensure that accessibility practices are maintained without any problems in accordance with legislation and standards. To date, we have started our training activities with approximately one thousand participant groups. From now on, we will continue our work in accordance with the actions in our Strategy Document.”


Pointing out that another service is “Mobility Mobile Application for Everyone”, Karaismailoğlu said, “This study is a mobile application project developed to provide accessible and safe transportation services to individuals with reduced mobility. Our Mobility App for All; It will be a holistic mobile application that aims to meet all the transportation needs of individuals with reduced mobility, from travel planning to ticketing, from live support module to companion module. We will also use our app to improve, control and improve our services. With the 'feedback button' in the application, it is possible to report designs that are not suitable for the use of individuals with reduced mobility in transportation infrastructure, facilities and vehicles. In this way, necessary construction, maintenance and repair activities will be carried out; Studies to create an accessible transportation infrastructure 'conforming to universal design criteria' will also gain momentum.


Karaismailoğlu, who stated that they have carried out serious works in the fields of transportation, informatics and communication until today, said that they started the "Orange Desk Service Point" application at the High Speed ​​​​Train stations in December 2019, so that between 2019-2021 1 million 780 thousand disabled citizens, YHT, He said they use mainline and conventional trains. Karaismailoğlu stated that with the decision of the Information Technologies and Communication Board, "Procedures and Principles Regarding Measures Regarding the Sectors That Need to be Supported Socially" entered into force, "In this way, we were able to gather the regulations in the electronic communication sector for disabled individuals under the same roof. We got to know new conveniences. Thus, it was possible to benefit from the services at a discount. We also prioritize service with a video and written call center. We made our airport an 'Accessible Airport'. Our Sivas Nuri Demirağ Airport received an accessibility award in the 'Accessible public institutions and organizations' category. The point where our services in terms of uninterrupted and independent transportation have reached is far beyond being a source of pride for us. Doing even better is a great motivation to expand these services even more. In addition to these, we are making PTT Matiks accessible. We deliver their pensions to our disabled brothers wherever they want. With the 'Disabled-Friendly Numbers Project', our hearing and speech-impaired brothers and sisters can access the service more easily. We provide online video call and written service in webchat environment. I would like to state that Türksat A.Ş. received the first prize in the category of Accessible Digital Applications. In the e-government system, whose number of users exceeds 57 million, all pages and interactive content were designed by considering disabled users. We also implemented the 'e-Government Gate Accessible Communication Center'.


Underlining that they are mobilizing to provide all kinds of facilities for the elderly and disabled, as they are for all citizens, Karaismailoğlu said, “Our primary goal is to ensure that all our citizens, especially our disabled and elderly people, have equal, easy and fast access to transportation services. We want the service, continuation of their trust and hearts of our very valuable people who have trusted us for nearly 20 years. Removing obstacles on the way is of great importance in our culture. We find the ways to the hearts of these brothers, become the way and remove the obstacles one by one. 19 years ago, we aspired to remove all obstacles in front of the service to this nation, regardless of the young or old, without separating the east and the west of Turkey. We are fulfilling this duty with the support of our nation, and we keep our promise with the new and giant projects we put forward every term.”


Explaining that transportation and infrastructure projects are not only technical projects and engineering studies, Karaismailoğlu said that transportation and infrastructure projects are carriers for employment, trade, education and social life. Karaismailoğlu said, “Transportation and infrastructure projects are the removal of obstacles in front of our country and our nation to live as they deserve,” said Karaismailoğlu.

“One of these projects was Build Operate Transfer 2 days ago; It is the capacity increase project of Antalya Airport, which was tendered within the framework of Public-Private Sector Cooperation. The construction period of the facilities to be built with an amount of 765 million Euros was determined as 36 months and the operation period as 25 years. The tender covers the period from January 2027 to December 2051, when the existing agreement expires. After the tender announcement, 8 companies purchased files. 3 of them received their site sighting certificates. Vnukovo-INTEKAR Yapı and TAV-Fraport AG joined the business partnership. Vnukovo Russian firm consists of Fraport German-Tav French-Turkish investors. Following the opening of the envelopes, TAV Airports AŞ-Fraport AG joint venture won the tender, with 19 billion 8 million euros including VAT, with the highest bidder at the end of 555 rounds. 25 percent of the 25-year rental fee has been determined as 90 billion 2 million Euros, including VAT, to be paid in advance within 138 days. With our project, which will be completed in 36 months by the investor in Turkish-German-French partnership with the commitment of 'zero guarantee', our state and nation will have another work that will come to life with the Build-Operate-Transfer model. Our country, which is one of the most important players in the region with its economic growth and strong transportation network, will continue to be the center of new investments and cooperation. The result of the Antalya Airport tender has been one of the important examples as an indicator of the trust in Turkey all over the world. Let Antalya Airport be a lesson to those who threaten investors.”

Günceleme: 04/12/2021 12:48

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