People who are less mobile due to an impairment or disability are generally less independent in their ability to move around. They have a lower ‘motility’.
However, recent research from the city of Ghent (Belgium) showed that independence is one of the most important aspects when someone with a disability travels. Relying on friends or family to get somewhere is not always possible, feasible or desirable.
There are various ways to respond to this. One of them is an adequate supply of public transport. This concerns the service itself, but also the access to information and tickets. In both digital and non-digital ways. When people with disabilities can rely on an inclusively designed system of public transport (in all its aspects), they usually get somewhere independently.
When this is not possible, there are different services to help people with disabilities on their way. I’m particularly interested in ways different regions are offering this additional support for this target group. Please drop them below! 👇
A good example from Flanders is the MeerMobiel website (https://www.meermobiel.be/). This website bundles everything about accessible and adapted transport in Flanders and Brussels. This way, they give a complete overview of the transport options available to this target group and who they can turn to for additional questions or support. Those who cannot find their way through the website digitally can also call the telephone line. Great, right?!
One of the issues that we’ve noticed in interviews with people with disabilities is that it can be difficult to get the help needed to use public transport, even when this help is supposed to be available. For example, buses are supposed to provide ramps for wheelchair users, but sometimes drivers refuse to get them out or can be quite nasty to wheelchair users who ask them to do so. Better driver training and properly addressing complaints helps, but there is still a long way to go.
This reply was modified 6 months, 3 weeks ago by Joy Deane.