Austria - Article 9

Two aspects of this article have been examined;

Rail

National Rail Travel

In Austria the visually impaired and the guide or guide dog all receive a discounted rate (up to 50% each or one full fare ticket to cover both passengers) on the national rail network.

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Regional Rail Travel

The regional concession scheme the same as the national scheme : the visually impaired and the guide or guide dog all receive a discounted rate (up to 50% each or one full fare ticket to cover both passengers).

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Urban Rail Travel

There are various location-specific urban concession schemes. The concession system may vary from city to city, depending on factors such as local government or local transport company. Concessions have been reported to be regrettably at risk in several Austrian cities.

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Transnational Rail Travel

The Austrian Railways (OBB) signed the IUR Agreement on Rail Transport for Blind People and their Guide issued in 1997 and amended in 2005. Visually impaired people residing in and travelling to any of the countries who signed this Agreement are entitled to a free ticket for their guide or guide dog provided that the return ticket is purchased in the country where the disability card was issued. In practice the Agreement does not apply to additional fees such as ‘reservation' or ‘couchette' which must be paid in full for both passengers. Furthermore, a survey conducted by EBU in 2000 revealed that in many countries the Agreement was not well known or was simply ignored by transport operators and authorities.
 

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Visiting Austria

In theory, it is impossible to benefit from Austrian schemes as a foreign visitor as locally-financed concessions are limited to local residents. In practice, concessions are sometimes granted depending on the willingness of ticket vendors.
 

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Guide Dogs

 

 

  1. How many guide dog users are there in your country? The number of guide dogs varies on a day to day basis as new dogs enter service and others are withdrawn. Please provide an estimate figure.

    Between 90 and 100.
     

     

  2. What regulations, if any, govern guide dogs access to:

     

    1. Public buildings (administration, hospitals, schools, etc.)

      No legislation! They generally have unrestricted access, but this is on the basis of good will by those in charge, i.e. there is no law to back this up.

    2. Cultural and sports facilities (cinemas, theatres, museums, libraries, stadiums etc.)

      No legislation! They generally have unrestricted access, but this is on the basis of good will by those in charge, i.e. there is no law to back this up.

    3. Leisure facilities (restaurants, hotels, holiday centres, beaches, etc.)

      No legislation! They generally have unrestricted access, but this is on the basis of good will by those in charge, i.e. there is no law to back this up.

    4. Retail facilities (supermarkets, department stores, shops, etc.)

      No legislation! They generally have unrestricted access, but this is on the basis of good will by those in charge, i.e. there is no law to back this up.
       

    5. Public transport

    Means of transport
     

    1. trains
       
    2. underground
       
    3. buses
       
    4. taxis
       
    5. planes
       
    6. ships

    They have unrestricted access to all above, backed up by law.

  3. What are the regulations for the import and export of dogs into/from your country, including quarantine and vaccination procedures?

    There are no quarantine procedures.  Dogs entering Austria must have the required vaccinations before doing so.
     

    1. Are exceptions made for guide dogs?

      No

    2. Are the regulations such as to restrict spontaneous voyages?

      No

    3. How much time is needed to fulfil the requirements?

       

      1.  For the first time

         

      2. For subsequent visits with the same dog

        There is no delay if the dog has the required vaccinations.
                         

  4. Is there a certification process for the training and provision of guide dogs? If yes, please provide basic details, in particular on the difference between mandatory and optional certifications.

    There is no optional certification.  Only certified guide dogs are recognised as guide dogs by law and are allowed on public transport without a muzzle.

  5. Is there an allowance or other financial aid to help guide dog users with the upkeep of their animals (food, veterinary, etc.)?

    No.

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