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Inclusive Transport – Ideas for a better Travel Experience

“Can you come over, like now?!” – “Maybe…” People with mobility impairments want to use public transport, 24/7, for daily stuff, for going to work, for visiting friends. However, they face a row of obstacles: Starting with booking the ticket, followed by getting in the vehicle, the situation in the vehicle and getting out again often turns out to be an adventure. As a result, persons concerned become real experts in the transport procedure. During the ITF 2022 we discussed two stories and solutions.
More solutions

She’s got a ticket to ride – Maybe…

The problem: data inequality

People with disabilities lack data needed for booking a train ticket. The information is lacking whether wheelchair spaces are available. The booking has to be made via two different websites: for the ticket on the one hand, for the mobility service helping getting on the train on the other. Like this, the booking process takes about 30 min. And even worse: It is only decided after half a day whether the booking has worked out or not.

Our Idea

  • A personal booking profile that includes personal requirements could help to create a user-friendly booking procedure.
  • For this, transparent data (OpenData) and the provision of open interface APIs, should be integrated into the regular booking process.
  • Number and availability of wheelchair spaces must be matched in the system with the availability of the local mobility service. 

I Need to know before I Go!

The problem: bad travel experience

Before I go, I never know:

  • At the tram station – where and how can I get in?
  • Are there places available for me?
  • If change to a light rail: How does it work here? Is there a gap?
  • If I need assistance from the staff – how can I get in contact?

Our claim

Transport operators have this information. Provide them to us and all customers! Mobility is the foundation for equal participation. It‘s a human right.

Ideathon in Leipzig during the ITF 2022

As a side event during the International Transport Forum 2022, the SOZIALHELDEN (Social Heroes) invited people with mobility impairments to express their most common obstacles they experience in public transport and present their ideas, because: “Nothing about us without us!”

Please meet our experts in their own cause: Annett Heinich, Wolfgang Ziegler, Sarah Lenz, Carlotta Coda, and their allies Lukas Mrocek, Andi Weiland, Holger Dieterich and Helge Inselmann.


Know in advance, if the elevator IS working.

Currently, more than 3,300 German train stations are making the real-time data of their elevators available. This data is integrated into the Wheelmap. More elevators will follow. Our goal is to improve barrier-free mobility in as many areas of life as possible. You can become part of our mission!

Make elevator information omnipresent

Real-time Information about the status of the elevator should be everywhere available. In train stations, office buildings, shopping malls and other places of daily life. Providers of existing mapping services (such as google maps) should integrate the information into their systems. 

The Elevate Delta project creates the data infrastructure for this purpose by developing data standards and making elevator information from various data providers accessible and harmonized.

Enable participation

We combine digitalization and social sustainability.

The disclosure of data on elevators adds enormous social value. Why?

Digitization becomes tangible. Smart Cities get a concrete use case.

Citizens can inform themselves in advance whether a particular elevator is working or not. Therefore, they experience less frustration and can plan accordingly.

Knowing if an elevator is currently working is not only useful for people that depend on a wheelchair. It is also useful for families with prams, for people with walkers or travelers with heavy luggage.

The Berlin NGO Sozialhelden e.V. laid the foundation for the Elevate Delta project back in 2012. 

The project received the German mobility award and the German sustainability award for research.

The Project explained

Raul Krauthausen (the founder of Sozialhelden) and Holger Dieterich (member of the board of directors) explain the project Elevate Delta and how it can enable new services worldwide.

How to provide data

Create Access
Share your elevator data, via API, XML feed, CSV export etc.

(For transport services, manufacturers and other data owners)

Give consent
You want your elevator data to be available? We will take care of the rest.

(For tenants and owners of a building)

Digitize elevator
With our sensors, even older elevators can be digitized

(For owners of elevators)


Elevate Delta is a project of the non-profit organization Sozialhelden e.V. and ubirch GmbH, which is supported by the mFUND of the Federal Ministry of Transport and Digital Infrastructure (BMVI).