Transportation futures for all

Woman with a baby stroller using the platform lift to get onto the raised bus stop platform .The bus stop is a tube shaped shelterHere are three book chapters on universal design in transportation from Towards User-Centric Transport in Europe. From the perspective of inclusion they cover research, policy development, and new technologies.

Mainstreaming the Needs of People with Disabilities in Transport Research argues mainstreaming disability should not exclude conducting disability-related transport research.

Universal Design as a Way of Thinking About Mobility  looks at the use of UD as a policy objective for transport policy using the Norwegian experience as an example.

Bus driver helps woman with her wheelie walkerOlder People’s Mobility, New Transport Technologies and User-Centred Innovation reports on findings from four focus groups examining mobility challenges. Automated vehicles were also discussed. 

Abstract item 1. Mainstreaming disability aspects following the universal design concept guarantees that the deliverables of a transport-related research project do not result in new barriers for people with disabilities and they can enjoying the benefits of the innovation and development on equal basis with other passengers. Using the method of mainstreaming disability does not exclude the necessity of conducting special disability-related transport research. This twin-track approach can significantly increase the accessibility of transport for all.

Abstract item 2. This paper will look into the use of UD as a policy objective for transport policy, using Norwegian experience as an example. UD was adopted as one of the four major policy objectives in Norwegian transport policy in 2009. However, from 2018 onwards UD is no longer a main policy objective. This experience with UD as a policy objective is used as an empirical backdrop for a more principal discussion on the usefulness of UD in transport and mobility. I conclude by pointing at UD as a useful vision, but difficult policy objective.

Abstract item 3. This chapter examines findings from four focus groups with 36 older people examining the importance of mobility and future changes in mobility and transport. Older people were generally sceptical of potential transport futures, though they welcome technologies that reduce physical difficulty in mobility, gave real-time information, and reduced issues with interchange. There were mixed feelings of automated vehicles, often dependent upon the individual’s willingness to accept technology taking over their own skills and abilities, trust in the technology and concerns over future built environments.