Car sharing is becoming an increasingly popular service, both for getting around in the city, as well as for pleasure trips, like vacations. In fact, in large cities, where public transport is efficient and readily available, people are increasingly choosing not to own a car, and instead to make use of rental services whenever they might need one.
Car sharing is likewise becoming increasingly popular among people who are visiting cities on business or vacation, after having arrived by air or by train.
Autonomy and independence are needs shared by all. People with disabilities often find themselves having to depend upon others, and having to ask for help for even small journeys, like travelling just a few km by car.
For this reason, many Italian municipalities are launching car sharing services with drivers dedicated to people with disabilities, or are offering rental cars with special controls suitable for those who are able to drive on their own.
In Milan, for example, the Easy Move rental car and driver service has expanded its fleet to include cars and buses equipped for transporting people with mobility problems. The drivers are specialized in the transport of people with disabilities, and, despite having registered offices in Milan, the service is nevertheless available all over Italy 24/7.
In January of 2017, a major car sharing project for the disabled, titled “Guido io”, was launched in Palermo, the concept of which was entirely different from that of Milan. In fact, it’s a car rental service that offers cars with special controls for people with disabilities who are able to drive on their own, and therefore don’t require a driver. This significant milestone makes Palermo the only Italian and European city to offer a car sharing service of this type for people with disabilities. The 4 cars will be operational as of 1 February, and will be rendered available to any users who may request them at various locations throughout the city.
These two different ways of improving the lives of people with disabilities are aimed at ensuring increasingly accessible mobility, and are two examples that we hope will be copied in other Italian cities and beyond, for a “world that’s truly accessible to everyone”!