Inclusive mobility systems: A framework

Disney monorail travelling on a raised rail over water.Transportation systems are more than buses and bus stops, or trains and stations. They consist of infrastructure, customer service, regulations, and system organisation. Taking a universal design approach is a good way to frame and achieve inclusive mobility systems.

The chart below shows the conceptual framework for inclusive mobility. It was used as the basis for a research project. 

Graphic showing conceptual framework with three key elements: Universal design, mobility and accessibility requirements and competences and responsibilities of involved actors.

The 7 Principles of Universal Design are translated into mobility and transportation language. Different sectors have responsibility for these components: government, private, academia, and advocacy groups. The title of the article is, Composing a Conceptual Framework for an Inclusive Mobility System. The article goes into more detail of the various components of the system. The final table identifies eight inclusive components:

      1. Vehicle equipment
      2. Environment
      3. Trip management
      4. Assistance
      5. Operational organisation
      6. Regulations and standards
      7. Awareness raising
      8. Funding

It is good to see the practical application of the Principles of Universal Design in relation to inclusive mobility. This framework brings components together nicely. 


This paper addresses the question how a future mobility system can be available and accessible to all people in our society regardless whether they are disabled or not. The purpose of composing a conceptional framework is to point out how such an inclusive mobility system must therefore be designed and organised. The discussed research question is based on the “Seven Principles of Universal Design”, the “UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities” as well as on the UN goals on sustainable development (more specifically, Goal #9: Industry, Innovation and Infrastructure, Goal #10: Reduced Inequalities, Goal #11: Sustainable Cities and Communities). These theoretical principles on inclusion and inclusive design are transferred to the interdisciplinary concerns of spatial planning: From a transportation system planning point of view, a detailed set of mobility and accessibility requirements for people with disabilities is elaborated and described. Consequently, the identified accessibility and mobility requirements of individuals with disabilities are assigned to the roles and responsibilities of the following sectors: (1) government, (2) the private sector (economy and industry), (3) academia and (4) civil society and advocacy groups. This broad analytical approach allows to include and identify innovative solutions that constitute an inclusive mobility system by considering technology driven aspects as well as non-technological aspects. In this manner, eight inclusive components (so called i components) for the future design and organisation of an inclusive mobility system are formulated: i-Car, i-Environment, i-Ride, i-Assist, i-Organize, i-Code, i-Image
and i-Funding.