Efficient Public Transport for Elders

Efficient Public Transport for EldersEfficient Public Transport for Elders

October 1 is observed as International Day of Older Persons. On the occasion, deputy mayor of Traffic and Transportation Department at the Tehran Municipality (TM), elaborated on the measures taken to implement legislation for an ‘elderly-friendly city’.

The population age pyramid in Tehran “has became middle aged  on an average; therefore issues concerning seniors and in particular, taking care of their transportation needs is on the TM’s agenda,” he pointed out.

Removing the present obstacles in urban pathways, electronic pedestrian bridges, constructing escalators in subway stations and installation of elevators are among the measures taken for the welfare of older citizens, Mehr news agency reported.

Constructing 400 pedestrian parapets or ‘Safety Islands’ and holding training courses for taxi and bus drivers and subway workers to assist the elderly while boarding and disembarking buses and subway trains, are also on the department’s agenda.

Further, the city’s bus terminals will be equipped with special cars and also wheelchair facility to transport frail and senior passengers.

Allocation of special seats for the elderly on buses and metro trains are among the other measures and their implementation has started recently.

‘Elderly-friendly city’ legislation was approved by the Tehran City Council in 2012.

 2b Older Persons

Meanwhile, UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon in his message, announced that the number of older persons is expected to more than double globally, from 841 million people in 2013 to over 2 billion in 2050, states a press release from the United Nations Information Center (UNIC) in Tehran.

Excerpts of the message:

Older persons are playing an increasingly significant role in society as they grow in number and as healthcare improves in some parts of the world.

By 2050, nearly 8 in 10 of the world’s older population will live in the less developed regions.

“The steady increase in human longevity represents one of the greatest transformations and challenges of our time. However, failure to keep pace with changing demographic trends will make it difficult to achieve a sustainable, secure and fulfilling future for people of all ages,” he said.

Older persons make wide-ranging contributions to economic and social development.    However, discrimination and social exclusion persist. “We must overcome this bias in order to ensure a socially and economically active, secure and healthy ageing population,” the UN chief noted.

The post-2015 development agenda offers a historic opportunity for the United Nations and its Member States to strengthen the rights and role of older persons in society as an integral part of our commitment to “leave no one behind”.

On this International Day, “I encourage governments and people everywhere to ensure the full participation of older persons in society while protecting their rights and dignity,” he added.