REPRINTS FROM THE JERUSALEM POST; BY GOL KALEV, May 8 2019
Israel takes pride in its advances in accessibility. And while the new Jerusalem train station and the trains themselves are fully accessible, a person in a wheelchair must take four separate elevators to board a train. The elevators are not right next to each other, and there is just one small elevator that goes from the main elevators to the platform. Passengers in wheelchairs share this small elevator with people carrying suitcases and strollers, and anyone else who prefers riding an elevator to climbing stairs.
Staff in the station, as well as throughout the Israeli railroad network, are there to assist. Indeed, for pre-coordinated rides, train staff wait at the trains’ doors with equipment to facilitate moving from the trains to platforms and vice-versa for those who need assistance.
The Jerusalem train station is located right near the central bus station light rail stop, which helps. But in Tel Aviv, the Light Rail is still under construction. All in all, accessibility remains an issue, and lack of sufficient infrastructure makes the ride longer and more challenging for the elderly and for passengers with disabilities. – G.K.