The Wayfinding Centre, a training facility focused on making public transport more accessible to people with disabilities, was officially launched this week by Minsters Eamonn Ryan and Anne Rabbitte.
Based in the former Smurfit Kappa Ireland Printworks in Glasnevin in Dublin, the centre houses an Airbus A319, a DART carriage, a LUAS module, a Bus Eireann coach, a double decker bus and a taxi. It also features an airport journey zone, platforms, cycle lanes, bus shelters, and pedestrian lights.
There are currently 1.1 million people in Ireland with a disability. However, Vision Ireland has said that as little as 6% use public transport on a regular basis. The centre is aiming to increase that figure by simulating real-world public transport scenarios and providing familiarisation training aimed at boosting the confidence of people with access needs.
The centre will also serve as a training ground for transport staff, designers, academics and policy makers responsible for making our transport systems more inclusive for those with mobility issues or visual impairments.
Roughan & O’Donovan (ROD) provided project management and employer’s representative services on the project.
Speaking at the opening, Andrew Thomson, associate at ROD, commented: “ROD was delighted with the opportunity to work alongside Vision Ireland, the National Transport Authority (NTA), transport service providers, and the main contractor, Oak Project Management, on the delivery of this state-of-the-art centre – the first of its kind in the world. Watching this project come to life over the past 18 months has been hugely exciting, and we look forward to the learning opportunities it will provide for our industry.”