The past decade has seen a monumental shift in attitudes to accessibility in transport. After the launch of the Equality Act 2010, which stated that transport must be accessible to all, regardless of any disability, transport networks, particularly those within the road and rail sectors, woke up to the need for truly accessible transport.
Despite these improvements, there’s still work to be done to ensure every passenger enjoys the same level of access.
Accessibility in transport today
Features such as lowering ramps and designated spaces for wheelchairs have become commonplace since the introduction of the Equality Act 2010. Likewise, more transport networks than ever are allocating funds to onboard signs and announcements regarding upcoming stops. But public transport often still falls short of delivering a comprehensive, dignified service for disabled passengers.
Thankfully, new technologies are helping to close the gap and improve accessibility, with onboard wifi at the forefront of these innovations.
New technologies on the horizon
The growth in mobile technology has played a significant role in improving accessibility to public transport. For instance, many transport networks now have mobile apps to enable special mobile ticketing for passengers with accessibility requirements. The Transport for Edinburgh mobile app can announce the next stop on a route, provide walking directions to the nearest bus stop and, when a phone is pointed at a bus stop, state the stop’s name and the bus services that depart from there.
Through the inbuilt GPS of a Sygnal wifi server, buses can alert passengers to upcoming stops directly through their personal device. This is particularly useful for passengers with hearing and vision impairments, who might otherwise not be able to see when they’re approaching their desired stop. Likewise, onboard wifi can be used to
Increasing accessibility in public transport is a major challenge for transport companies in 2018. Any technology that can contribute to improving the experience for passengers with accessibility requirements should be embraced.