LISBON METRO has started a programme to replace its station access gates in order to avoid accidents. The new gates are lower and it is less likely that passengers will get trapped in them or injured when they slam shut.
In August 2004, a report carried out by consumer safety group, Comissão de Segurança do Consumidor, revealed that the automatic access barriers were dangerous. The document reported complaint cases of people, especially the elderly, who suffered bruises because they couldn’t pass through the gates in time from the delivery of passes and tickets to the barriers’ automatic closure. Some passengers even suffered nosebleeds and other facial injuries.
In a total investment worth 117,000 euros, the first of the new gates were substituted last month at the busy Cais do Sodré terminal station at a cost of 2,600 euros. The new glass barriers are 50cm lower than the previous ones, with the average around 1.20m. Currently, Baixa Chiado Rossio, Martim Moniz, Intendente, Anjos and Arroios on the Green Line are testing the new barriers.
However, Lisbon Metro, which invested millions of euros in barriers designed to prevent fare evasion, has come under fire recently since many of the access barriers are out of order and people can travel within much of the city without paying. C.G.