Starting April 2019, the Baku Metro has introduced an “accessible subway” service to make the subway system accessible for people with disabilities including people with low vision, people who are hard of hearing, the elderly, pregnant women with hand luggage.
The user can request the service via phone or app by naming their location and a final destination one hour in advance of taking the ride. The trained staff meet them at the designated location in front of the subway and take to the intended place. During the process, they use an alternative escalator (in most cases, there are three escalators in the subway) and place a person on the first train. The service operates between 9 am and 9 pm, but the subway administration does not recommend passengers to use it during peak hours.
It is important to note that the subway staff who work for these services undertakes special training sessions on how to work with the end-users. The subway administration receives around 35 calls per week, but they have the capacity to handle more requests.
Talking about the reconstruction, it is hard to make infrastructure in the subway stations built during the Soviet Union. In fact, based on past instructions, people with disabilities should not be allowed to go in the subway. Considering the costs and feasibility, the subway administration could not renovate old subway stations to make them accessible. However, the administration is looking towards new stations in the new purple line to be fully accessible with elevators and other amenities.
This inclusive urban solution makes the public transportation accessible for people with disabilities.