Accessible cities and public transport

Public transport is the focus of the latest quarterly magazine from the Association of Consultants in Access. The articles cover streetscapes, buses and trains, and the personal experiences of a wheelchair user.

The upgrade to the Como Rail Station showing the long flight of steps and the level pathway to the elevator.

Como Railway Station has received a significant upgrade for accessibility

The opening article is by Kiersten Fishburn who is Deputy Secretary, Cities and Active Transport at Transport for NSW. She covers a lot of ground: improvements to infrastructure, micro-mobility, on-demand service and the taxi subsidy scheme.

Julie Sawchuk is Chair of the Ontario Standards Development Committee in Canada. She discusses her experiences as a traveller using a wheelchair. She makes an important point:

You’ll have noticed that my tales have addressed only my own experiences as a wheelchair user: that is, after all, my area of expertise. We need to listen to all users.

Julie Sawchuk

Jane Bryce’s topic is accessible streetscapes and public transport for people who are blind or vision impaired. Silent e-vehicles are an obvious issue for this group, as are shared pathways.

Toe bone connected to the foot bone, Foot bone connected to the heel bone, Heel bone connected to the ankle bone…

Dem Bones

The song “Dem Bones” is a good analogy of the needs of people who are blind or vision impaired who wants to leave their house, to be independent. Everything needs to fit together; each part is essential. Each element that makes up a part of a journey, whether on public transport or not, in a city or elsewhere, needs to be accessible for people who are blind or vision impaired.

Francis Lenny talks about his view of accessible bus travel. He reiterates the need for passengers to be at the centre of design decision-making processes. Confusion with the Disability Standards for Accessible Public Transport (DSAPT) is a key issue.

Inter-city train design and the outcomes achieved is the topic of Jen Barling’s article. Designers and operators are encouraged to go beyond the DSAPT. Indeed, DSAPT encourages alternative means of access to public transport, not just the specified standards:

…using methods, equipment and facilities that provide alternative means of access to the public transport service concerned (but not using separate or parallel services) with equivalence of amenity, availability, comfort, convenience, dignity, price and safety.

DSAPT 33.3 Equivalent Access

Howard Moutrie discusses handrail height and Cathryn Grant covers off the Smart Cities for All Toolkit.

You can access the online version of the magazine or download the 8MB PDF version.

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