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A systematic review of public transport accessibility for people using mobility devices

journal contribution
posted on 2020-03-18, 00:00 authored by Carolyn Unsworth, Man So, Julian Chua, Prasad GudimetlaPrasad Gudimetla, Anjum NaweedAnjum Naweed
Purpose: Being able to access public transport is vital for mobility device users as this is an affordable way of maintaining community connections and participating in activities that promote quality of life. This systematic review investigated literature on public transport access for people using mobility devices, excluding transit restraint and securement literature. Materials and methods: A systematic review of the peer-reviewed literature in English from 1995 to 2019, with critical appraisal and narrative synthesis. Results: Twenty-six articles were identified, including 14 studies investigating user experiences, seven examining bus formats and floor layouts, and five focusing on bus ramp incidents and optimal design. Studies were generally observational and descriptive, with 12 including analysis of video data. Conclusion: This is the first systematic review of literature related to the accessibility of public transport for people using mobility devices. Topics such as ramp access have been relatively well-researched, as have the experiences of users. However, many gaps remain and there is a need for research to; address the barriers identified through user experiences, discern the best access to stations and stops, as well as floor formats for people to ingress, manoeuvre and egress from a variety of transport modes, and promote universal design principles in the transport sector. Rehabilitation professionals can use the findings of this review to advocate for, and support people using mobility devices to successfully negotiate public transport.Implications for Rehabilitation Accessible public transport is vital to enable people using mobility devices to remain connected in their communities. Despite increased international awareness and adoption of accessibility features by the public transport sector to improve getting to a stop, ingress, manoeuvrability within and egress from conveyances, access for people using wheeled mobility devices cannot be assumed. When prescribing new wheeled mobility devices with clients, rehabilitation professionals and users need to consider public transport access and the suitability of different devices for this purpose. Rehabilitation professionals can undertake skills training with people using wheeled mobility devices to test out access prior to independent travel on public transport and develop strategies to overcome any barriers. © 2019, © 2019 Informa UK Limited, trading as Taylor & Francis Group.


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Taylor & Francis, UK

Peer Reviewed

  • Yes

Open Access

  • No

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Author Research Institute

  • Centre for Intelligent Systems

Era Eligible

  • Yes


Disability and Rehabilitation

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