Accessible public transportation: A book

Front cover of the book showing a typical city street in US. There are cars, buses, a train, bicycles and pedestrians.Everyone is happy when a wheeled mobility user can quickly and easily board the bus or train. And the person wheeling on doesn’t get unwanted attention from other passengers. Based on research in the United States comes a book on accessible public transportation. It covers different technologies, policies and programs with inclusive solutions for everyone. The book is based on research from Center for Inclusive Design and Environmental Access at Buffalo. The research was carried out with a range of stakeholders and is useful for policymakers, planners and advocates. The title of the book is, Accessible public transportation:designing service for riders with disability. The video below shows what went into the research, and list of chapters following gives an overview of the content. The focus is on people with disability, but of course, designing this group becomes good design for everyone.

1 The Importance of Public Transportation
2 The Culture of Accessible Transportation
3 The Scope of Inclusive Transportation 
4 Trip Planning and Rider Information 
5 The Built Environment 
6 Vehicle Design 
7 Demand Responsive Transportation 
8 Paratransit Scheduling and Routing 
9 Location-Based Information 
10 Social Computing and Service Design 
11 Learning from Riders 
12 Vision for the Future 

Can everyone benefit from ride-share systems?

Uber driver is pushing a man in a manual wheelchair into the back of the vehicle.Uber is a household name. But can everyone take advantage of ride-share systems? The Living Cities article describes five steps for growing accessible and inclusive transportation systems. There is no one solution: a range of policies and mobility options are needed for low income communities and people with disability. The Movmi blog site extends these ideas for ride-share systems and offers three key elements for inclusion. Both articles have more detail on concepts and solutions. Here are three key elements:

  1. Availability: Good access to public transportation are needed in all areas, as well as car-sharing, bike-sharing and ride-hailing services as a solution for the last mile.
  2. Inclusive design: Ensuring sharing and on demand ride-hailing services are available to people who have limited access to the internet or credit cards. This also includes reducing any physical barriers that may prevent anyone with a disability using these services.
  3. Affordability: Reduced fares and subsidized memberships will ensure everyone has the ability to use public transportation and shared mobility services.

UberWAV is a for riders who use motorised wheelchairs or scooters. Drivers are trained to help with getting in and out of the accessible vehicle. The first UberWAV in Australia was in Newcastle NSW in 2016. The article covers the different services available in the US  for people who don’t have phones and credit cards. The Every Australian Counts website has a 2015 article about UberWAV that provides another point of view.