Mind the gap in rail travel

A large crowded entrance hall of a railway station showing shops as well as lots of people.We all want the same things from rail travel. Value for money, getting a seat, and arriving on time. But some need a bit more than this. Step-free access, accessible information, accessible toilets, and easy ticket purchase. These are some of the findings in an Australian rail travel report.

The Australasian Centre for Rail Innovation report is based on an international study. Public transport systems in five countries were reviewed. The aim was to identify good practise and issues yet to have solutions. The executive summary reports:

    • Many people with disability experienced abuse and discrimination from both passengers and staff.
    • Easy access to reliable information was critical for planning a journey.
    • There is a considerable difference between urban and rural areas when it comes to accessibility.

The five countries reviewed in the report are Spain, UK, Australia, Sweden, and United States. Public transport links with tourism and the same innovations are needed here. Accessible retail, workplaces, banking, and easy access in and around rail and transport hubs.

The title of the report is, Rail travel and disability: an international perspective on accessibility. A very useful document for the upcoming review of Australia’s Transport Standards. 

See also a previous post, Rail carriages and universal design  which gives technical advice as well.

Train station platform edge with the words in yellow, "Mind the gap".