Document Type

Journal Article

Publication Date


Subject Area

planning - surveys, policy - disability, mode - bus, mode - mass transit, literature review - literature review


Visually impaired persons, Transit personnel, Transit, Training, Site selection, Signs, Signing, Sensory disabilities, Public transit, Placement (Location), Personnel training, Personal interaction, People with visual disabilities, Messages (Communications), Mass transit, Location, Locating, Local transit, Literature surveys, Literature reviews, Lighting, Legibility, Intracity bus transportation, Illumination, Hearing impaired persons, Contrast, Bus transit, Blind persons, Blind, Americans with Disabilities Act, Accessibility


With the passage of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) it has become a civil rights violation to deny access to public transportation to people with disabilities. ADA requires transit agencies to provide accessible buses or equivalent services to people with mobility, sensory, or cognitive impairments. Issues concerning people with sensory impairments, and their access to fixed-route transit services, are examined in this study. The literature concerning access to public transit by people with sensory disabilities is summarized in this paper, along with exemplary training programs and technologies that have improved transit accessibility for people with sensory disabilities. A major conclusion of this study is that technological solutions may not increase bus accessibility for people with sensory impairments. One-on-one interaction is needed to solve many individual access problems of the transit users. Training for transit personnel is needed so personnel become aware of, and more sensitive to, the needs of all transit users. Training for the transit user is necessary so that use of the transit system is accomplished with grace, speed, efficiency, and dignity. Training for those who train people with disabilities is necessary so that transit travelers will be informed about all the available services offered by transit agencies. Visual signage must be consistent and highly legible to be effective and includes sign and information location, lighting, contrast, and content.