Are all urban public transports (bus, metro, tram, train) accessible to all persons with disabilities?


Any exceptions qualify for ‘Yes – with Qualifications’. Accessibility must, however, include both blind persons and those persons with mental or intellectual disabilities. A very important issue here is that drivers (especially bus drivers) are both trained, and obliged personally, to help, if required, a person with disabilities. Wheelchair users should be able to enter and leave buses without assistance. If ‘Yes – with Qualifications’, please indicate why. If “Yes” please describe any significant differences between the legal situation and the reality of everyday life. 

In detail

Almost 50% of respondents asserted public transport in their countries is not accessible to all persons with disabilities while only a mere 2.9% agreeing public transport is fully accessible. Generally, it is only partially accessible, or accessible to persons with certain disabilities, mainly wheelchair users. The main barriers observed in contributing to ensuring fully accessible public transport were:

  • Lack of staff training combined with the inability to use public transport autonomously was reported to be a major obstacle in making public transport accessible mainly in Europe and Asia.
  • Partial accessibility: certain features supporting the accessibility of public transport are underutilised or misused such as no scooter access, reserved seats but no ramp access, timetable restrictions, lack of vehicles adapted to people with disabilities, or overcrowding problems, commonly reported by respondents from South Asia, and Sub-Saharan Africa.
  • The efforts made to make transport accessible are mainly focused on physical disabilities
  • The availability of accessible transports is drastically different between urban and rural regions, the latter suffering from a lack of accessible infrastructure in most countries.