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Train, bus, tram and co: using public transport with a rollator

Guest author: Joachim Tabath, has more than 14 years of experience in traffic accident prevention and senior citizen work as a chief inspector with the Düsseldorf police. After a career change, he shares his extensive experience, independently and in part-time work to improve road safety and safety in general for seniors in professional articles and on request in his network in and around Düsseldorf. The topic of safety around the rollator originated on his desk and was then passed on from there nationwide, among other things.

Rollator-Rollstuhl Rollz Motion im Zug

Tips for carefree and safe bus and train travel with a rollator

Mobility is important, but not only on foot with a rollator. You also want to travel further distances to go shopping, go for walks and visits, visit theatres, museums, concerts, to name but a few. But for this you do not want to use your car. So you change and use public transport in your town, i.e. the bus or in larger cities the tram, the light rail, the underground or the suburban railway.

You will experience that the use of public transport is a practical, good, reliable and safe mobility option and thus also a contribution to an independent, self-determined and active lifestyle. You are also doing something for the environment. You gain knowledge and experience as a user of a rollator, security and confidence in the mobility alternative: Through training and frequent use of bus and train, the subjective sense of security is strengthened by the reduction of fears and uncertainties. At the same time you will gain knowledge, experience and skills to implement the elementary rules of behaviour and to be mobile in complete safety. In the following, you will receive an instruction manual for carefree and safe bus and train travel.

Prepare yourself

With a few preparatory measures, you can make the switch to public transport much easier.

Go to an information session

Contact your public bus and/or rail operator and ask for information sessions on such things as timetabling, vending machine operation and safe use and travel.

Organise a timetable for the next stop near you.

Have a personal departure tim etable sent to you for your stop. This way you always know when the bus or train is coming and you don't have to wait for hours or minutes in bad weather, for example.

Take advantage of special fares

At the same time, why not ask about low-cost offers from the transport companies in your area of residence and travel. There may be low-cost subscription tickets, short-haul tickets or special fares for senior citizens.

Use an escort service

In many cities there is a free escort service, why not try it out? With him you always have help, do not drive alone, drive safely and entertainment is there for free. Just give it a try!

Carbon Rollator Tasche: Welche Reiseutensilien benötigen Sie?

Here we go: Pack your bag

Do a little preparation before you start your trip: What travel essentials will I need today? Small change, which ticket, clothing, umbrella, keys, glasses, medication, papers, valuables, living will, bag, mobile phone, etc.

Avoid rush hour traffic

Avoid morning and afternoon rush hour traffic (students and commuters). The "journey" with your wheelchair is already inconvenient enough, choose times when there are fewer people on the road.

Use buses and trains without steps

For your own safety, try to use low-floor buses and / or low-floor trams as far as possible, because then you won't have to climb steps. If this is not possible, simply ask other passengers for help when getting on and off. You will be pleasantly surprised who is willing to help you and even lift your rollator into the vehicle.

(I personally once experienced a lady with a rollator standing at the stop chatting with another lady. As the tram pulled into the stop, a younger gentleman was kind enough to carry the rollator into the tram, but without the lady noticing. She was then very surprised that the wheelchair was in the tram and she was standing in the stop, because she did not want to ride at all, but only to chat with her accidentally met acquaintance.

Waiting for bus and train: With a rollator at the bus stop

Have small change ready for the ticket

Use the waiting time to have small change ready. This will make it easier for you to use the machines on the trains. The driver is not exactly thrilled if you want to pay with a 100.

Keep your distance from the kerb at bus stops.

At bus stops / bus bays, do not stand directly at the curb, keep at least a 1 meter safe distance so that the bus can safely approach the stop. The vehicle swings across the pavement. (Swing-in angle / Attention exterior mirrors!)

Caution in the track area

Often there are many safeguards to be able to cross the track area without an accident. Please pay attention to possible warning lights and signs for pedestrians when the train reaches the stop, warning markings and so-called shark's teeth on the ground at the track area. When crossing tracks, the following also applies in principle: Look left - right - left.

Tips for getting on and off the bus and train with a rollator

How to get on and off the bus safely with a rollator

If it is possible, always try to get on at the front, signal to the driver that he should please not move off until you have taken your seat. This will put you on the safest route.

Get on forwards, but when getting off with a rollator, get off backwards.

Youtube Vorschau Zo73eJ8kWG0

Ask for consideration

Make it clear to other passengers that you are no longer as mobile as the younger ones and ask them to be considerate. Seniors should have the right of way at bus stops.

How to find the right seat

In crowded buses and trains, ask passengers to stand up for you. You are not entitled to a seat, but other passengers will be happy to stand up for you if you ask them a nice question.

Sit on a seat in the vehicle against the direction of travel, but never on your rollator.

The safest seats are the ones with your back to the driver, i.e. against the direction of travel, because in the event of a braking manoeuvre you will not fall forwards but will simply be pressed more firmly into your seat.

Securing the rollator during the journey

Once you have arrived on public transport, secure your rollator with the parking brake and hold it firmly so that it cannot fall over and injure other passengers.

Take your time getting on and off the bus

Don't worry about getting trapped in the doors, the doors are equipped with safety mechanisms to the latest standards. If sensors sense resistance, the door will immediately open automatically. In addition, there are often light barriers that you have to interrupt with your hand or leg and the door will not close, but open again immediately.

If you want to get off, wait until the bus or train stops at the stop so that you do not fall down in curves or when braking. However, signal early that you want to get off. Accept help when getting off.

Carbon Rollator Feststellbremse

Here's what you should pay attention to when getting off the bus or train

Take your time getting on and off the bus

Don't worry about getting trapped in the doors, the doors are equipped with safety mechanisms according to the latest standards. If sensors sense any resistance, the door will immediately open automatically. In addition, there are often light barriers that you have to interrupt with your hand or leg and the door will not close, but open again immediately.

If you want to get off, wait until the bus or train stops at the stop so that you do not fall down in curves or when braking. However, signal early that you want to get off. Accept help when getting off.

Youtube Vorschau Zo73eJ8kWG0

Caution bike lane

Look for bike lanes parallel to the roadway and sidewalk at bus stops, both when getting on and off the bus. Here it is important to look to the right and left when getting on or off to avoid colliding with people cycling. On marked cycle paths, cyclists have priority there.

Never cross the road in front of or behind a train or bus.

Please never cross the area of a bus or tram stop directly in front of or behind the tram or bus. This will help you avoid traffic accidents and injuries if you come into conflict with oncoming traffic . Wait until the public transport has moved away, then cross the road without danger.

So, and now we wish you a good and accident-free journey!

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