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Which means of transport are allowed in the vehicles and what are the conditions?

A controversial ban has come into effect in Rotterdam: mobility scooters are no longer welcome on the tram. Transport company RET states that the vehicles are too large and hinder other passengers. Only small, foldable mobility scooters are still allowed. The ban mainly affects older travelers, a group that is highly dependent on this form of mobility. “This is not customer-friendly,” says RET staff.

RET emphasizes in it AD that the rules for mobility scooters are not new. “The ban has always applied,” a spokesperson explains, “but mobility scooters were turned a blind eye to the tram.” However, according to the carrier, the current electric carts, especially those with four wheels, take up too much space, meaning that other travelers can hardly pass by.

De regulations is clear: means of transport such as the Segway, (electric) scooter or moped, (electric) bicycle or windgoo, cargo bike or Babboe and tandem or bicycle with trailer are not permitted on the tram. Larger mobility scooters are still welcome in the metro, provided they fit in the elevator and can pass through the entrance gates. Only a small, foldable one is allowed on the bus, provided there is enough space.

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Not only mobility scooter users are affected by the new guidelines. Parents with strollers also have to take stricter rules into account. If the designated space for prams and buggies at the back of the tram is full, the conductor must refuse access to the next passenger with a pram. Previously, strollers were sometimes allowed to be parked in other places during busy periods.

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The reactions among travelers are varied. Wendy, a frequent tram user, is positive about the ban. “Great plan, those things are incredibly big. It was often the case that mothers with a child in hand and a child in the buggy did not fit in. There is also such a thing as a regional taxi or healthcare taxi, often at a reduced rate,” she says.

However, Rob sees it differently. “Leaving people with a mobility scooter outside because it bothers citizens and they can drive themselves is bizarre. It would be raining heavily or your battery would be low or your body would hurt. I know everything about it. Many Dutch people lack solidarity. You'll have it yourself. To qualify you need a disabled parking card,” he says.

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electric wheelchair

The electric wheelchair is permitted provided the maximum dimensions are: 120 cm long x 70 cm wide x 109 cm high.

Gerard feels discriminated against by the measure. “I feel severely discriminated against by this action by RET. According to European law, disabled persons may not be refused entry in any way. I will definitely not receive a mobility scooter from the WMO that would meet the requirements of the RET. So I really want to find out how European legislation stands in this regard,” he declares determinedly.

The controversy surrounding the ban on mobility scooters on trams raises a larger issue about accessibility and inclusivity in public transport. While RET argues that the measure is necessary to guarantee traffic flow on the tram, many mobility scooter users feel extra disadvantaged. The question remains how the transport company can find a balance between ensuring space and comfort for all passengers and offering equal opportunities to disabled people.

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While the discussion continues, it remains unclear how RET will meet the needs of both mobility scooter users and other passengers in the long term. Until then, travelers must adapt to the new reality, in which small, foldable mobility scooters are the only permitted variant on Rotterdam trams.

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