The suburban railways will soon get battery-operated four-seater cars at select stations. These will be ferry the physically challenged and senior citizens from the station premises to the trains.
The free service will be available round-the-clock.
The railways will provide electricity for charging the vehicles’ batteries. The zonal railway officials on Central and Western Railways said they have plans to implement the project at over 1,560 stations in the country.
According to senior officials, special facilities like access ramps, reserved parking slots, low height water taps and suitable toilets for differently-abled people would be developed in phases at important stations.
Under certain terms and conditions, the zonal railways will select the private operators who will run the vehicles. The operators will be allowed to advertise on the panels of these small cars.
“The railway board has finalised the project and it will be given out to parties willing to participate. The railways will provide free power to charge the batteries. The project is expected to be completed by the end of 2010,” a senior official stated.
Non-slippery walkways for the handicapped and special signage for the blind will also be put up at stations.
The Central Railway has already installed beepers at suburban stations for the visually impaired to easily locate the handicapped compartments.