While walking distances to stops have different effects on accessibility for different types of users, all users benefit from easier access into the vehicles. Wide doors and low steps not only reduce the time vehicles spend at stops – they also significantly improve access for the disabled and those travelling with prams and buggies.
In Europe, 12–14 per cent of the population is disabled, and the percentage of people with disabilities is expected to increase in future. Disabilities vary greatly in severity, but most disabled people have a relatively low degree of disability.
Solutions facilitating ease of use for all users should consequently be prioritised in public transport systems. And as it is much easier and cheaper to achieve full accessibility at the design and construction stage, rather than trying to modify infrastructure at a later stage, it should be focused upon in the early phases of new projects.
Understanding the transport system
Understanding a transport system is vital to achieve good access. Networks must be designed to be easily understood by users. Travellers who don’t understand a system will not use it, which reduces the passenger market and increases operating costs.
Network planning and design are important factors in all public transport. A simple network with a clear line structure which is easy to learn and remember for all citizens needs to be planned and created for long-term use