Fully scheduled or dial-a-ride? the future direction of accessibility policy for local public transport

Document Type

Conference Paper

Publication Date


Subject Area

place - europe


In the UK and throughout Europe, there is an over increasing number of individuals that have difficulty using conventional public transport. It is estimated that 14% of the British population and 18% of the Northern Irish population experience mobility problems that make it difficult or impossible for them to use conventional public transport (Department of Transport, 1994, PPRU, 1990). With nobility impairment increasing with age, projected increases in the elderly population of some 40% throughout Europe by the year 2020 (ECMT, 1991) may significanfly increase the number of individuals experiencing mobility problems. The elderly are more dependent on public transportation for active participation in society as they have less access to other modes of transportation. Yet conventional public transport is deficient in terms of the needs and prerequisites of the elderly (Forsberg and Sttahl, 1991) and others who experience mobility impairment. Public transport provision for the mobility impaired is clearly a complex issue as the diffioulties experienced are not confined to public transport vehicles, but to the entire chain of events involved in undertaking a trip (e.g. getting to a vehicle, entering and leaving a vehicle, finding a seat, the length of journey etc.). In recent years, such issues have become increasingly recognised as major problems which need to be addressed in a meaningful way. This has led to the development of a range of public transport systems that aim to provide the same access to the mobility impaired as the rest of the population.


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