CAF trams for Jerusalem will be equipped with technology designed to make it easier for blind and visually impaired people to travel.

ISRAEL: The 114 CAF trams that are scheduled to begin entering service in Jerusalem later this year will be equipped with technology from digital wayfinding company Step-Hear which is designed to make it easier for blind and visually impaired people to travel.

The Jerusalem Transportation Masterplan team drew up a requirement for accessibility technology in consultation with the Israeli Centre for the Blind, and tram supplier CAF then turned to Step-Hear for implementation of its internet-of-things system which is already in use on buses.

Users install a free mobile app or wear a personal wrist activator. When they reach the vicinity of a bus or light rail stop, an ‘audio-sign’ provides the name of the stop and a description, including where to wait. Alternatively, users can opt for a short ‘beep’ to be emitted when they are in the correct place.

CAF Jerusualem tram delivery

On the tramway implementation, the app will know the passenger’s exact location on a platform, and be able to access live departure information. The user will select their destination, and the driver of the next tram in that direction will receive an alert that a person with disability is waiting to board. 

The passenger will receive an alert shortly before the tram arrives, and the app will then identify the closest door. There will be an audio alert if the door is open, and if the door is closed it will open automatically without the need for the passenger to locate a physical button. The door will also remain open for slightly longer.

Similar functions will be available onboard when the passenger needs to alight, preventing users trying to use a door on the wrong side of the tram or not reaching the door fast enough.