Accessible Transport: Good practice guide

Front cover of the accessible transport report. shows people boarding a tram. Accessible Transport good practice guide.Improving Transport Accessibility for All: Guide to Good Practice, covers transport information, the road and pedestrian environment, infrastructure, vehicles, private cars, and emerging transport services.

The information is detailed and specific. For example, in the first section on information, text size and font are discussed in relation to printed material, websites and the spoken word. The road and pedestrian section is also detailed and begins with footpaths – the widths, gradients, crossfalls, surfaces, paving jointing, seating and tree plantings.

Examples from different member countries are provided. Although the Guide was published in 2006, the information is still relevant as progress has been slow, particularly in Australia. The Guide is published by the OECD and the European Conference of Ministers of Transport. You can download the guide in PDF from the OECD International Transport Forum website. It is interesting to note that the guide is following its own advice on best practice in the presentation of information.

Accessible Transport: The Economics

Aerial view of a railway line, main roads and suburban streetsInaccessible transport can be a major barrier to participation in social and civic life, and this has a knock-on effect for the economy. Transport is not usually something we do for its own sake. We use transport in one form or another to achieve something else, such as shopping, going to work or school, or for social activities. It is the glue that holds together the many activities people undertake in their daily lives. But not all transport systems and facilities are accessible to everyone – and it is not just about users of mobility devices. 

A discussion paper from New Zealand recognises that some disabilities are invisible, “… given that arguably everyone is a beneficiary of universal design some of the time; that many factors influencing participation are invisible, such as mental illness or hearing difficulty, for example; if an observational measurement method is going to be used, then it must necessarily involve a proxy measure for ‘beneficiary of universal design’.”

This is an encouraging approach because many studies measure ability and disability of individuals at one point in time, and not across the lifespan. The paper includes a road crossing case study from Hamilton in New Zealand. It concludes with the need for mutual understanding between those who plan and build transport and those that use it. The discussion paper on estimating the costs and benefits of participation was prepared by the Roundtable on Economics of Accessible Transport, part of the OECD International Transport Forum.

International transport forum logoThe OECD website has an iLibrary of discussion papers for this Forum. Filtering for “accessibility” brings up several papers, many of them recent.   


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