Renfe

Service news

Page content

Renfe, A Socially Committed Institution

On 24 October 2012, the President, Julio Gómez-Pomar, received the International Puentes del Mundo Award for Social Responsibility in the Socially Committed Institution category for the Atendo service.

The jury for the award, which was part of the second edition of the International Puentes del Mundo Awards for Social Responsibility, considered that Atendo "represents a commitment to equal rights and opportunity in access to public transport services".

Renfe Operadora’s Atendo service provides free assistance for railway passengers with reduced mobility or other disabilities. As a specialised service, it offers passengers guidance, information and help with access to and transit at stations, as well as assistance for getting on and off trains.

The ceremony, which was held in the auditorium of Spain's National History Archive, was presented by Asturian journalist Luján Argüelles and hosted by Father Ángel García, President of Mensajeros de la Paz, who holds the Prince of Asturias Concordia Award and is Honorary President of the Puentes del Mundo Foundation.

In this second edition of the international awards, there were some 40 candidatures from Argentina, Mexico, Colombia, Bolivia and Spain in a total of eight categories. The other award winners were the following:

  • Social Ambassador of the Year: Vicente del Bosque.
  • NGO of the Year: Spanish Federation of Spinal Bifida and Hydrocephalus Associations
  • Socially Responsible Company: Miguelañez
  • Social Action of the Year: 'Helping is Fun' by the Solk&Soya restaurant in La Moraleja, Madrid.
  • Patronage Work: Carmen Cervera.
  • Social Commitment in Sport: Real Madrid Foundation
  • Scientific Research: Lilly Company.

The award consists of a sculpture designed by Asturian sculptor Kiko Urrusti and a certificate attesting to the commitment of both the awarded institution (in this case Renfe) and the Puentes del Mundo Foundation for continuing work on projects for cooperation and development of solidarity.

In a unique gesture, a cheque for €2000 euros was presented to Sandra Ibarra in representation of the Sandra Ibarra Foundation for Solidarity Against Cancer. The funds were raised in the First Puentes del Mundo Solidarity Walk from Oviedo to Las Caldas held last May, during which a plaque honouring the Foundation was unveiled on Paseo de la Solidaridad.

The Renfe Atendo service with the ONCE Guide Dog Foundation

On Wednesday, 19 September, a workshop was held at the ONCE Guide Dog Foundation in Boadilla del Monte for the entire team of the Renfe-Operadora Atendo service; the President of the ONCE Guide Dog Foundation Management Board, Patricia Sanz Cameo; the Managing Director of the ONCE Guide Dog Foundation, Gemma León Díaz; the managers of the company V2 Servicios Auxiliares, provider of the Atendo service; and the manager of the Atendo Central Office.

The workshop was opened by the President of the ONCE Guide Dog Foundation Management Board, Patricia Sanz Cameo, who made a presentation about the Management Board and congratulated the Renfe-Operadora Atendo service on the good results obtained in all the annual satisfaction surveys about the service (consistently scoring above 8.78 out of 10). She also emphasised that not all persons with visual disabilities have the same mobility needs and that there are many degrees and types of visual impairments. Therefore, when assisting or addressing a person with a visual impairment or another type of disability, the most important point is to ask what the person needs in order to provide adequate guidance. She also explained the problems a visually impaired person with or without a guide dog encounters when using rail transport in terms of both stations and trains. She highlighted the lack of walking routes for cane users and indications of zones near the edges of platforms in some stations, the lack of sufficient space under seats for a guide dog and the lack of wider seats for users with visual impairments accompanied by guide dogs.

Next the Managing Director of the ONCE Guide Dog Foundation, Gemma León Díaz, spoke and explained the entire education process a guide dog must undergo from birth to assignment to the most appropriate user. The process of obtaining certification as a guide dog begins with careful selection of its parents. Experience has shown that the most suitable breeds for this training are Labrador and Golden Retrievers, German Shepherds and the Flat Coat Retriever. At two months, the guide dog joins a host family that trains it for approximately 10 months so that it learns how to behave in society. The dogs are also taught simple commands and to recognise authority. The guide dog then returns to the Foundation's training school for a period of eight months to learn the basic aspects of the guide dog function. Lastly, the guide dog is assigned to a user with the characteristics that are most compatible with it.

After these presentations, there was an interesting debate on the needs of persons with visual impairments from when they enter the departure station to when they leave the destination station (walking through the station, getting on the train, travelling, getting off the train) and on the content of the Persons with Disabilities and Reduced Mobility II special fare, essentially regarding the sections covering guide dogs and assistance, guide dog and instructor accreditation documentation, guide dog identification markings, types of disabilities, requests for assistance, etc.

Finally, Gemma León took us all on a tour of the facilities, showing us the birthing room, laboratory and hospital, breeding area, post-surgery recovery area and training area, telling us about all the activities carried out in each. After the tour, there was a brief demonstration in which we were able to see the work the trainers and guide dogs do so that persons with visual impairments can have greater mobility and autonomy in their daily life.

The Puentes del Mundo Foundation rewards the Atendo service

The jury for this award, which was part of the second edition of the International Puentes del Mundo Awards for Social Responsibility, considered that Atendo "represents a commitment to equal rights and opportunity in access to public transportation services". The award consists of a sculpture designed by Asturian sculptor Kiko Urrusti and a certificate attesting to the commitment of both the awarded institution (in this case Renfe) and the Puentes del Mundo Foundation for continuing work on projects for cooperation and development of solidarity. The awards ceremony will be held in Madrid at the end of September.

The Atendo service

Since it was started up in 2008, Atendo has provided over one million assistance services and responded to the Renfe commitment to make its services accessible to all citizens, which also includes a universal accessibility plan. Its score has been rising steadily and now stands at 8.98. This score has strengthened the quality level of the first transport service recognised by Aenor, the Spanish Standardisation and Certification Association, with the Universal Accessibility certification based on the UNE 170001/2 standard.

Puentes del Mundo Foundation

This Foundation is a non-profit organisation that seeks to raise awareness in society by cooperating with development and social, health, educational and general culture projects aimed at fostering solidarity.

In this second edition of its international awards, there were some 40 candidatures from Argentina, Mexico, Colombia, Bolivia and Spain in a total of eight categories. The other award winners were the following:

  • Social Ambassador of the Year: Vicente del Bosque.
  • NGO of the Year: Spanish Federation of Spinal Bifida and Hydrocephalus Associations.
  • Socially Responsible Company: Miguelañez.
  • Social Action of the Year: 'Helping is Fun' by the Solk&Soya restaurant in La Moraleja, Madrid.
  • Patronage Work: Carmen Cervera.
  • Social Commitment in Sport: Real Madrid Foundation.
  • Scientific Research: Lilly Company.

Incorporation of the Manzanares station into the Atendo service

On an on-demand basis, the Atendo service is being incorporated at the Manzanares station.

In this way, the Atendo service is expanding the number of stations with on-demand service from 59 to 60, maintaining the number offering a permanent service at 66 (See Map of Stations).

Customers can obtain the service by requesting it at least 12 hours before the train's scheduled departure time.

To guarantee proper provision of the service, the customer must go to the Meeting Point at the Manzanares station (Ticket Sales) at least 30 minutes before the train's scheduled departure time.

The assistance service can be requested when purchasing the ticket through any sales channel (station ticket windows, Internet, etc.) or by calling 902 24 05 05.

For information about the Atendo service, please call the Atendo Central Office on 91 774 40 40.

More information

© Renfe. All rights reserved.
Legal information | Web accessibility