Every public transport user needs to know that there are laws and regulations put in place to enable people with disabilities (PWD’s) access public transport without any limitations, for example, the Disability Standards for Accessible Public Transport. This applies to all public transportation means, i.e. the bus, train, tram and taxi services. Unhindered access is considered to be a vital element of the public transportation system. The following explains more about accessibility to public transport as a person with mobility difficulties:
Accessible trains and stations
All urban trains are made accessible to wheelchair bound passengers using ramps that are placed between the platform and the train carriage’s door. The ramp should be placed again when you reach your destination and have to get off. In addition, ramps are also placed at train stations to enable you enter the station and also getting onto the train platforms. In case you need any special consideration and assistance, you can contact your local train station ahead of time to make the needed arrangements.
People with moving mobility have a right to access all kinds of public transport without hindrance. Photo credit: Wheel-Trans
Accessible buses and bus stations
Most bus services are accessible by wheelchair and just like accessing trains, the bus driver will place a ramp between the bus’s front door and the bus stop pavement. In addition, there are SmartBus stops that have a palpable ground surface decorated in brighter colours and this helps to guide visually impaired people to get on to the bus with ease. In case there are special needs that require consideration, you should contact the bus service company at least a day in advance to arrange for a bus with a low floor to cater for your mobility needs.
Accessible trams and tram stop
You should find out if there are available low floor trams within your locality. These can help you to travel safely and more conveniently with colored seat grab handles, stepping edge for visually challenged people and the improved customer communication via automatic announcements and electronic screen displays. In addition, there are trams with priority seats located near the doors and close to the driver’s chamber which makes it easier to alert the driver for you to get off the tram. Furthermore, accessible tram stops provide ramps for improved access to people with moving disabilities. Others feature pedestrian crossings with flashing lights and special paving to help the visually impaired passengers cross the road safely.
It’s your right to access public transport without facing any hindrances. Always look out for visual aids such as stickers and signposts that set seating priorities for the disabled and elderly people. Finally, everyone has a duty of providing assistance to the disabled people at all public transport stations and not sitting in their designated bus or train seats.