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Agreement between the UB and TMB to study communicative barriers in public transport

Representatives of the UB and TMB in the signing act for the agreement.

Representatives of the UB and TMB in the signing act for the agreement.

14/05/2019

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The University of Barcelona and Transports Metropolitans de Barcelona (TMB) have signed today, May 14, an agreement in which the researchers of the Research Group on Exclusion and Social Control of the UB (GRECS) will carry out a research study on accessibility in the TMB network, mostly regarding old people, but also in other groups with different types of disabilities. The agreement was signed by the rector of the UB, Joan Elias, and the chief office of TMB, Enric Cañas.

 

The study, taken from the anthropological perspective, will analyse the barriers when it comes to accessing transport, such us communicative ones, in understanding codes in transport. The objective is to identify and understand these communicative barriers, which sometimes are hard to notice for technicians. It will analyse, for instance, whether new technologies are a barrier for old people. The process will be organized around a series of workshops with TMB staff and users, and it can result in a series of publications and reports but also in an exhibition to share the results.

GRECS has a line of work on the problems associated with mobility and infrastructures. From an anthropological perspective, infrastructures are social events, such as language or religion. The anthropology of infrastructures suggest going beyond immediate technical uses, it suggests using infrastructures to communicate and make society and culture with them.

Accessibility is one of the cores of the policies of social responsibility of TMB. In its Plan for universal accessibility, it defines the projects the company works on to guarantee equal opportunities in mobility, in the lines of commitment to respect for human diversity and the right to have an independent life. Public transports managed by TMB (metro, buses and leisure transport) are featured by a great degree of adaptation and progress towards universal accessibility with measures to remove physical obstacles (for instance, elevators in the stations, ramps in buses) and technological applications in info-accessibility (voice assistant for the blind, ddTag codes)

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