The Chur PostBus station is being made accessible
With its curved dome, the PostBus station in Chur is one of the most striking public transport stops in Switzerland and is used by 2,200 passengers a day. Project manager Lars Lindtke tells us how this important PostBus transfer hub is being converted to allow access for people with disabilities.
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From the timetable change on 10 December 2023, people with walking, visual and hearing disabilities will be able to transfer to PostBus vehicles without any difficulty in Chur. In 2016, the experts from Post Real Estate (IMS) contacted the disability organization Pro Infirmis for specialist advice. After seven years of work, the project is now on the home stretch for all the partners involved. The construction work for the accessible PostBus station will take place in October and November of this year. Large quantities of material – costing several hundred thousands of Swiss francs – will be used within a short time.
Lars Lindtke has had his finger on the pulse of events in Chur on behalf of PostBus and IMS since summer 2022. As project manager, he holds the threads of this important construction project together. He is in close contact with Rhaetian Railways (RhB) and Swiss Federal Railways (SBB). The conversion phase of utmost importance. For example, Lars had to demonstrate to the SBB safety officer that the work on the PostBus station will cause only low vibrations and will therefore not have a negative impact on train traffic. As the client, the Canton of Graubünden is another important partner and will bear part of the costs.
But how will the stop be made accessible to users with disabilities? The traffic planners, architects and civil engineers involved are guided by the SIA 500 and VSS 640 075 standards for accessible construction. According to these standards, a platform must be around 22 centimetres high so that wheelchair users and people with mobility walkers can board the Postbus by themselves. If the height of a platform is less than 10 centimetres, the gradient of the ramp will exceed 18 percent, which makes it too dangerous. The PostBus station, which was built in 1992, is currently at ground level and has no raised edges. This means that boarding and alighting from vehicles is not accessible for all users.
Seven platforms with a height of 22 centimetres and markings for the visually impaired will be installed in October, November and December. The fact that there will be less space and fewer stops for Postbuses after the conversion work also poses problems for planning the new timetable. In our video, coordinator Lars Lindtke shows examples of the planned conversion on-site in Chur. He says: “I’m confident that accessibility will benefit everyone, including passengers with children and large luggage.”