Urban rail builders will ensure that metro and monorail systems built in HCM City are disabled-friendly, the Department of Transport has promised.

Speaking to representatives of people with disabilities on June 16, Nguyen Hoang Tri of the department's urban rail management board said metro and monorail stations would be designed based on the Law on People with Disabilities.

Thus, each station would have ticket vending machines, telephone booths and toilets for passengers in wheelchairs.

For blind people, special tiles to mark the way would be laid.

There would also be a system to guide blind and deaf people, he added.

On board the metro and monorail coaches, special seats would be installed for people with disabilities.

The city plans to build seven metro and three monorail lines measuring a total of 160 kilometres, with work on the first metro route from Ben Thanh Market to Suoi Tien Park in District 9 starting three years ago.

Chu Manh Hung, head of the Ministry of Transport's Environment Department, hailed the facilities planned for disabled people.

He said he hoped they would help increase the number of disabled people using public transport.

The number of people with disabilities using buses is low despite the city creating favourable conditions for them since 2006.

The transport infrastructure around the country does pose difficulties for disabled people.

For instance, roads do not have areas dedicated for them.

They also find it difficult to travel by train or bus since doors are too narrow for wheelchairs and ticket counters, too high.

Furthermore, employees at train and bus stations discriminate against them.

The Ministry of Transport is working with the Vietnam Railways and transport companies to redesign trains and buses as well as stations to make the infrastructure disabled-friendly.

Vo Thi Hoang Yen, head of the Centre for Disability Research and Capacity Development, said before putting new metro and monorail stations and routes into operation, drivers and other employees should be trained to be considerate to disabled people.

Dang Van Thanh, deputy secretary general of the Vietnam Federation for People with Disabilities, said people with disabilities should be allowed to monitor construction of stations and other facilities./.