Universally designed transit systems

Train station entry hall in China.Much of our transportation infrastructure was designed last century when the focus was on getting people to work and school. In those days, people with disability were not considered as part of the working or school populations. Times are changing and “average” must evolve to “inclusive” because there is no such thing as the average user.

A magazine article on inclusive transit systems suggests one way to think about the transit system is to recall an experience in another country. Was it easy to use? Did you feel you could confidently and independently navigate you way to your destination? How was buying a ticket? If you got confused it is likely new users will be confused at home too. These are good benchmarks for home country design.

Passengers wheel their baggage on the train station platform. A very fast train is in the backgound.The title of the article is, Designing More Inclusive, Accessible Transit Systems for All. The article refers readers to the American Public Transportation Association Guideline on using a universal design approach

Australia is due for a third review of the accessible public transport standards. Progress still seems slow and we still have a way to go yet. The standard was published in 2002 and the timeline for compliance allows between 5 and 30 years. 

For more information on accessible and inclusive transit systems and transportation, check out the the Transportation section of this website.