Ferries in Croatia to Become More Accessible to Disabled Passengers
Disabled persons will soon be able to board ferries and catamarans using special ramps and lifts
Travelling as a disabled person can present considerable challenges, which is why we’re happy to report that making your way around the Adriatic might get a bit easier in the near future. The competent authorities have decided to work on making maritime transport more accessible to disabled passengers, Dalmacija danas reports on April 14, 2018.
Representatives of the Initiative of Associations of Disabled Persons of the Republic of Croatia (OSI) met with the Minister of Maritime Affairs, Transport and Infrastructure Oleg Butković, State Secretary for Maritime Affairs Maja Markovčić Kostelac, CEO of Jadrolinija David Sopta, and Paula Vidović, the director of the Coastal Liner Services Agency. At a meeting that took place in Split earlier this week, the parties discussed the problem of ferries operating in Croatian waters that are currently inaccessible to disabled persons.
The Ministry of Maritime Affairs presented a plan that aims to ensure accessibility to disabled passengers to ferries and catamarans. They pointed to a need for new ferries to be equipped with lifts instead of lifting platforms, as the operation of the latter calls for two additional members of the crew.
The latest ferries acquired by Jadrolinija – named Brač, Kornati, Krk, and Mljet – are all equipped with lifting platforms, but the passengers in wheelchair need to be carried in by crew members nonetheless, so the ships could use some additional equipment that would make it easier for the disabled to board. Where catamarans are considered, the company plans to acquire new wheelchair ramps that would replace the current ‘bridges’, making it possible for disabled persons to easily board the ship via access ramps.
Disabled passengers will be provided tickets free of charge; their companions will have a 50% discount, and they’ll be able to get a free ticket for a personal vehicle. We’re headed for a transitional period first, to be followed by certain modifications of the existing laws and regulations that will result in a special pass for maritime transport for the disabled.