It’s easy to measure the things we can see, but not so easy to measure the things we can’t see. So how do you measure the people who don’t use public transport? And how then can you measure why they don’t? When it comes to travellers with disability we have to measure exclusion to get inclusive transport. But how can we do this?
Bridget Burdett has some thoughts on this thorny issue. In a Linked In article she poses a ‘hierarchy of response’: reactive advocacy, consultative planning and proactive inclusion.
Reactive advocacy is when people with disability demand accessible transport. This is usually when things are really obvious. Some changes are made, such as adding a ramp, and then the fuss dies down, but not much else changes.
Consultative planning involves asking people with disability what they need. Disability advocacy groups are invited to give their stories and opinions. Similarly to putting in a ramp, it makes decision-makers feel they are doing a good job.
Proactive inclusion is where transport planners understand and measure the problem. Of course, it still requires advocacy and consultation.
Burdett explains how to measure exclusion based on the number of mobility aids present in the community.
The title of the article is, Until we measure exclusion we won’t get inclusive transport. Bridget Burdett is a transport planner and chair of the Transportation Group New Zealand. There are links to Bridget’s case studies on transport and disability.
There are more posts on transportation in the Transportation Special Summer edition of the CUDA newsletter.