Adaptation of the whole travel chain: benefits and attitudes


A Stahl

Document Type

Conference Paper

Publication Date


Subject Area

ridership - attitudes, economics - benefits


Key studies carried out during the 1970s and 80s demonstrated very clearly that public transportation is an extremely important means of transport, especially for the elderly but also for large numbers of the differently abled. Another very important result of these studies was that they proved without exception that public transportation functions poorly for the elderly and differently abled. The deficiencies in the transport system are multifaceted and can be discerned in every link of the travel chain, i.e. from start to finish. The government began to take an interest in the problem at an early stage, and a number of measures were initiated or intensified in the mid-70s. One common feature of these early investments in adaptation measures in public transportation was that they all concentrated on technical modifications of vehicles. In the early 80s, however, the thinking changed as more and more research results underscored the importance of addressing the entire travel chain. Practically, this thinking began to be implemented with the introduction of Service Route traffic in BorŒs in 1983. Service Route traffic has beyond doubt assisted in providing access to a well- functioning means of public transport in urban areas, in particular for the elderly, but also to some extent for other people with impaired mobility. Service Routes have also been able to demonstrate modified travel habits among elderly and differently-abled people, and that there is a notable increase in using public transportation especially among people entitled to Special Transportation Service (STS). The results of studies of the effects of Service Route traffic indicate an increase in the activity level of large numbers of the elderly brought about by their having access to a functional mode of transport. Service Routes as a means of transportation have contributed to a new and more positive existence for many older people. It can thus be stated that there is relatively good knowledge available today about how vehicles in public transport, at least buses, should be technically adapted to better satisfy the needs of the elderly and differently abled. Furthermore, the experiences from Borgts have clearly demonstrated that Service Routes are a transportation system that creates opportunities for many eldefly and differently-abled people to use public transport. It is even proven to be an alternative means of transport for many people who today are STS. However, achieving an overall view in the adaptation of public transport posits that the physical environment also fulfil certain requirements. The purpose of the present undertaking was to use a demonstration project to suggest and implement improvements throughout the entire travel chain to make public transportation more accessible to the elderly and differently abled.


Permission to publish abstract given by AET.