Transportation in the future

A large crowded entrance hall of a railway station showing shops as well as lots of people. Transportation in the future.The language of transport is shifting from discussions about infrastructure to the mobility of people. It’s therefore essential we consider the the diversity of our population in future thinking and designing. But what would people with disability want from transportation in the future to make mobility easy and useful? A group in Europe decided to find out. 

An interactive, real time, accessible journey planner was the most popular idea. This is because it would make travel more convenient and safer and enable independence. 

On the other hand, bike sharing, e-scooters and motorbike taxis were not popular with respondents. 

People with vision impairment and hearing impairment weren’t that interested in an accessible journey planner. Two-wheeled solutions weren’t popular either with these two groups. Women had the most reservations around transport and different modes of mobility. 

Cycle lanes received a luke-warm response across all disabilities. However, accessible cycle lanes were relatively more popular. 

People with disability are open to using robots, artificial intelligence alerts and wearables. Therefore, designers of environments and systems need to work together for seamless integration.

As we know, what is good and useful for people with disability usually ends up being good for everyone. Consequently, the white paper is a useful resource with good recommendations for transport planners.

Front cover of TRIPS white paper. The white paper title is, Views of people with disabilities on future mobility. The research was funded by the European Union., 

The white paper explains their survey methods and findings, the issue of gender balance and future recommendations. It also offers design directions and policy and industry recommendations. 

A key recommendation is to ensure all AI solutions are co-designed to avoid bias and ensure equal access.

In summary

Future transportation systems should pay attention to the most mentioned complaints about:

      • Getting on and off the means of transport
      • Reaching the transport mode
      • Using station facilities
      • Travel delays
      • Comfort on board
      • Limited access to information
      • Autonomy
      • Social barriers
      • Accessing help
      • Friendliness of the surrounding environment
      • Getting users oriented

The European funded group is TRIPS – Transport Innovation for disabled People needs Satisfaction. Their aim is to make public transport more accessible for people with disability, older people, and really everyone. 

There are links to the supporting organisations and methods of contact at the end of the report.

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