Measuring transport accessibility

Transport planners are guided by regulations related to mobility, but accessibility requirements relate to what people can achieve.  Accessible transport systems cannot be measured objectively like length or weight but rather by what it enables users to do. So we need a way to merge accessibility measures with infrastructure measures. But how do you measure transport accessibility? Front cover of the discussion paper on measuring transport accessibility. The title is The Accessibility Shift.

Jonathan Levine presents some interesting concepts about accessibility and mobility in his discussion paper. He explores the conceptual barriers to shifting transport planning from mobility to accessibility. Levine also presents a technique for analysing project-level accessibility analysis. 

His thoughts highlight the different goals of accessibility and mobility and how they can be brought together. Transport rules and regulations are the current guiding tools focused on mobility. They are about traffic impact, land use, and transport demands. So embedding accessibility in transport planning requires some new accessibility tools. 

One of the issues with adopting equity principles is that they are usually only seen from a transport disadvantage viewpoint. But everyone benefits when their accessibility increases. Using an accessibility approach enables transport planners to focus on human performance rather than infrastructure performance. 

Ann Arbor is the subject of a case study where Levine analyses the accessibility impact on three land use development projects. This is where the paper becomes technical. 

Levine’s proposed method goes beyond the mobility focus and concepts such as the cost of congestion. The tool takes a standard traffic impact analysis and combines it with an accessibility analysis of an individual land development project. 

The title of the discussion paper is, The Accessibility Shift: Conceptual Obstacles and How to Overcome (one of) Them

Accessible public transportation: A book

Front cover of the book showing a typical city street in US. There are cars, buses, a train, bicycles and pedestrians.Everyone is happy when a wheeled mobility user can quickly and easily board the bus or train. And the person wheeling on doesn’t get unwanted attention from other passengers. Based on research in the United States comes a book on accessible public transportation. It covers different technologies, policies and programs with inclusive solutions for everyone. The book is based on research from Center for Inclusive Design and Environmental Access at Buffalo.

The research was carried out with a range of stakeholders and is useful for policymakers, planners and advocates.

The title of the book is Accessible public transportation: designing service for riders with disability . The video below shows what went into the research, and list of chapters following gives an overview of the content. The focus is on people with disability, but of course, designing this group becomes good design for everyone.

1 The Importance of Public Transportation
2 The Culture of Accessible Transportation
3 The Scope of Inclusive Transportation 
4 Trip Planning and Rider Information 
5 The Built Environment 
6 Vehicle Design 
7 Demand Responsive Transportation 
8 Paratransit Scheduling and Routing 
9 Location-Based Information 
10 Social Computing and Service Design 
11 Learning from Riders 
12 Vision for the Future 

Accessibility Toolbar