There was an interesting meeting held in Split earlier this week. Representatives of the Initiative of the Croatian Associations of People with Disabilities met with Minister Oleg Butković, State Secretary Maja Markovčić Kostelac, President of Jadrolinija Managing Board David Sopte and Paula Vidović, Director of the Coastal Shipping Agency.
In order to overcome accessibility issues on ferries and catamarans, a plan was presented by the ministry. There is a need to build new platforms, instead of the foldable slopes which require two crew members to operate. This is the case with the newest ferries to Brac, Kornati, Krk and Mljet.
Catamarans would be supplied with access ramps, which will replace the existing inaccessible “bridge”. In this way passengers with disabilities will be provided with an independent entrance over these ramps but it is important to stress that passengers need to submit a notice to the nearest Jadrolinija ticket office in advances.
People with disabilities will be entitled to a free ticket, with a 50% discount for their assisting person. We must keep in mind this is a transitional period and at the end of the year the law will be amended. There will be special cards for People with Disabilities travelling on ferries, catamarans and other maritime transport. It will operate in a similar way to the Jadrolinija Smart Card.