Towards an enabled journey: barriers encountered by public transport riders with disabilities for the whole journey chain

Document Type

Journal Article

Publication Date


Subject Area

place - urban, policy - disability, literature review, ridership - behaviour


Disability, public transport, transit, inclusive, transport disadvantaged


The ability to travel freely and independently to participate in society is essential for an individual’s wellbeing and quality of life. People with disabilities are often unable to access public transport due to barriers in the urban environment and public transport systems. This review provides a comprehensive examination of the barriers faced by people with disabilities who are independent public transport riders. It includes: (a) barriers encountered from the perspective of the whole journey chain, from origin to destination for public transport trips; (b) investigates the commonalities and differences in the perceived barriers for different disability types; (c) discusses the impacts and shortcomings of universal design; and (d) limitations to data collection procedures. Evidence from the review of the existing literature has shown that there is limited research on travel behaviour relating to the whole public transport journey chain for people with disabilities. The consequences of not being able to make a journey due to the barriers in public transport inhibit participation in society that can have a range of negative impacts on the wellbeing of people with disabilities. This paper highlights the importance of the “bottom-up” approach for policy implementation and engagement with the disability community. It concludes with directions for further work and recommendations for practitioners.


Permission to publish the abstract has been given by Taylor&Francis, copyright remains with them.