Although treaties of the European Union guarantee the fundamental right of any European citizen to move freely between its member states, people with reduced mobility cannot yet fully enjoy it.
In the specific case of people with disabilities, there are a number of common problems in urban areas. On the one hand, it is difficult to find information on the possibilities of both accessible public transport and private vehicle transport. On the other hand, although in most European countries it is usual to have parking spaces reserved for people with disabilities, the availability of these is limited, it is not easy to know their location and fraudulent use is made of them.
The SIMON project responds to these challenges by offering a complete integration of technological solutions that facilitate accessible navigation, mobility information and the management of access rights for parking badge holders. These solutions have been tested on a large scale in the cities of Madrid, Lisbon, Parma and Reading.
Among the different services that SIMON can offer, the combination of a mobile application and a new smart card model stands out. Through them, users have information on accessibility and parking in real time, are able to validate themselves as legitimate users of parking spaces and can plan accessible routes using multimodal transport.
The solutions proposed by SIMON also include applications and services for public authorities, public transport operators and parking service managers. In the cities that adopt this system, SIMON allows them to manage the use of the public parking spaces, receiving real-time information on the use of reserved parking spots, reducing fraud and allowing inclusion policies to promote the sustainable use of all transport modes.
Finally, work is being done to ensure that these solutions, especially the new smart card model, are adopted as a standard in the European Union, so that the mobility of citizens regardless of their place of residence is provided.
SIMON project will finish in March 2017, and the main results will be presented to end users and interested stakeholders some weeks before, after evaluation and validation of pilot demonstration activities have been done. This final event will take place in Madrid, where local, national and European institutions will meet to know first-hand about SIMON conclusions.
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