The inner city boroughs of Berlin have a very well connected public transportation network. It includes buses, subways (U-Bahn), commuter trains (S-Bahn) and trams. Many of the stops and stations are accessible. Fully or partially accessible connections can be found at: http://www.vbb.de/en/index.html. If an elevator at one of the stations is not working, it will be indicated there. At http://brokenlifts.org/ one can also check which elevators in Berlin are currently not functioning.
All public transportation buses in Berlin are equipped with a folding ramp. Many bus stops also have an orientation system for blind people. Wheelchair users should wait at a clearly visible spot at the stop so that the bus driver can easily see them. On short buses the wheelchair entrance is at the rear and on articulated (bending) buses at the middle. A blue call button with the wheelchair symbol alerts the bus driver to fold out the ramp when getting on or off the bus. Passengers with a valid ID card for the severely disabled travel for free. Those with the code “B” on their pass can also take along an accompanying person for free.
In Berlin three different types of trams are in use. The oldest, Tatra trams are not wheelchair accessible and have three steep steps at the entrance. They are only used in rotation with newer, wheelchair accessible trams. So, if one of the old trams shows up at a stop, just wait for the next one. The entrance for wheelchair users is in the front. It is important to note that the hoisting lift cannot be used at all stops, so it is necessary to inquire in advance if the planned route is navigable. This can be done by checking the online timetable information or by calling the hotline (English spoken) at +49 30 25 41 41 41.
There are different types of subway vehicles in Berlin. In order to enter the older types a ramp must be put in place by the subway operator. It is therefore necessary to wait for the subway at the front end of the platform. The modern vehicles have a low-floor entrance, but depending on the station there may be a rather wide gap between the platform and the subway, making the use of a ramp necessary.
Commuter trains (S-Bahn)
Most of the S-Bahn stations have an orientation system for blind people as well as acoustic announcements. Wheelchair users need a ramp for getting on an off the trains. They should wait for the train at the front end of the platform in order to be seen by the driver who will put the ramp in place.
There are quite a few bodies of water in Berlin. Thefore there are also a number of ferries, which are all wheelchair accessible. The landing piers are also all wheelchair accessible according to the BVG, the public transportation provider.
The public transportation authority of Berlin-Brandenburg offers a mobility assistance service for passengers who cannot travel alone and who are not accompanied by another person.
A list of useful telephone numbers and information for mobility assistance services for blind and visually impaired people can be found here: http://www.absv.de/veranstaltungen (only in German) and here: http://www.absv.de/servicetexte (only in German).
More information can be found on the following websites: