Access is looking up these days in Vietnam, as the powers that be in Ho Chi Minh City have announced that the new metro and monorail systems will be wheelchair-accessible. The last time I visited the city, access was extremely lacking, so I’m happy to hear of any move in a positive direction.Mr. Nguyen Hoang Tri of the local urban rail management board said that all stations would have wheelchair-accessible vending machines, telephone booths and restrooms. Additionally, the metro and monorail coaches would be outfitted with spaces for wheelchair-users.
When completed, the seven metro and three monorail lines will measure a total of 160 kilometers. It’s hoped that by adding access features. that more disabled passengers will use them.
The Ministry of Transport also acknowledges access deficiencies in the existing rail and transport system, and it is currently working with Vietnam Railways and transport companies to redesign trains, buses and stations to make them more accessible.
It’s a step in the right direction, as having an accessible transit system in place is a basic building block for accessible tourism. Hopefully my next trip to Vietnam will show even more improvements.