Access to Public Transport Recommendations
Physical Barriers: - Vehicle
People in wheelchairs cannot access the majority of the
current fleet of buses.
Lack of certainty that every bus on a scheduled accessible
route will be accessible.
Lack of room for electric chair or scooter to manoeuvre on
|steps onto buses are too high for people with disabilities and the
|lack of visual strips defining steps
|buses with vehicle-mounted loading ramps - need to be non slip and
have a safety guard and correct gradient.
New buses purchased will be accessible to people in
wheelchairs and with mobility disabilities, and will conform to the
Accessible buses will have low flat floors at least to
behind the rear doors, ramps which can be deployed if necessary, low ramp
angles and may have kneeling suspensions to lower the height further.
|programming for the operation of the door, severity of closing,
Accessible buses to incorporate door design which does not
present a barrier to independent or assisted access and be fully automatic.
Distance and height from the step to the vehicle:
|lack of uniform gap when buses arrive at platforms
|lack of lumination and definition of step (people with impaired vision
sometimes cannot locate steps as they appear to be holes)
Design of bus platforms should take into account the design
of low floor buses.
Training of drivers to stop at a set distance from the kerb
will further improve effective step heights and distances. Education
and awareness training for drivers on judging the appropriate distance from
the kerb for the vision impaired and people with disabilities.
Defining edge of steps to assist the vision impaired.
A light coloured strip should mark the edge of steps.
Aisle width is insufficient for people with disabilities to
move freely along the bus.
Accessible buses providing for front door entry for people
in wheelchairs will provide wider aisles at least as far as to immediately
behind the rear doorway or to the rear axle.
The width of aisles will be minimum width required is 850mm.
Lack of grab rails, also their:
The stanchion at the front door of buses (situated in the
centre of the entrance) inconveniences people with disabilities.
New accessible buses will not have a centre stanchion at any
door to be used by people in wheelchairs.
A handrail, yellow-coated for visibility will be provided on
the left side from the front door past the driver and the ticket validation
All rails need to be visible to people with low vision and
be in a contrasting colour to the rest of the bus interior.
The height of seating on buses and available leg room
between seats is restrictive for some people with mobility disabilities.
Lack of sufficient priority seating
More suitable seat heights will be specified in bus purchase
contracts for ‘priority seating’.
Assess demand for priority seating and increase provision if
Limited space available on buses for guide dogs.
Seats in forward areas of buses will be floor-mounted rather
Buses with positions for wheelchairs will also create larger
spaces adjacent to some seats. These seats may be suitable for
priority seating eg. passengers with guide dogs.
Labelling for priority seating will be clear and visible to
all commuters and be in a contrast colour to assist the vision impaired.
Wheelchair occupants have difficulty maintaining stability
of his/her unit.
The disability standards recognise the use of both active
and passive restraining systems. The service provider should examine
the options proposed at the national level.
Unregulated movements of passengers entering and leaving
vehicles lead to safety concerns.
Buses should remain stationary to allow sufficient boarding
and seating time.
Address as part of public transport marketing programs and
in general information, including details of acceptable movements within
vehicles as stated in the ‘conditions of carriage’.
Timetable to allow for required stationary periods at
interchanges and bus stops
The height and positioning of ticket validation machines
causes some problems for people of small stature and those in wheelchairs.
At present, it is difficult for the vision impaired to
locate ticket machine and to know which way the ticket is used.
Position ticket validation machines for people of all
statures, including people in wheelchairs.
The location of the validating machine should also be
standardised for all buses, preferably close to the driver and next to a
railing to allow ease of location.
Tickets should contain an indicator detailing ‘which way up’
to assist the vision impaired to validate their ticket.
Emergency exits are generally not accessible, visually or
physically, to people with disabilities.
Physical Barriers: Access to Bus Stops
Lack of uniformity in platform layout and building shelter
design and orientation.
Signs and information are not legible or located in a
uniform way to assist people who are vision impaired.
Some Stops are not located in close proximity to other
services, such as shops.
Stops do not provide a safe environment and are
Lack of accessible toilets
Standardised kerb heights, shelter design and placement of
doors that comply with the disability standards, should be adopted at all
Any lighting provided should comply with minimum levels of
maintenance illumination for various situations eg. adequate lighting for
the vision impaired.
Where toilets are incorporated into a bus Stop at least one
will be an accessible toilet.
Not all bus Stops have tactile surfaces, including clearly-signalled
platform edges and pathways near the platform/vehicle interface which convey
necessary information to vision impaired.
Tactile ground surface indicators, of a contrasting colour,
are to be installed on the access path to indicate stairways, ramps, changes
of direction, overhead obstructions below a height of 2000mm, and hazards
within a circulation space or adjacent to a path of travel.
A program for upgrading of bus Stops to include tactile
tiling on platform edges and to identify access pathways including pathways
to information offices and taxi ranks will be included in future Capital
Physical Barriers: Bus stops
Shelters do not meet the needs of people with disabilities:
|layout not predictable
|safety - insufficient lighting
|need standard orientation
|inadequate manoeuvring space in shelters for wheelchair users
Seats at bus stops can be difficult to get out of
Installation of a bus shelter is not a requirement under the
Disability Standards. Where shelters are provided standardised
shelters that better meet the needs of people with disabilities will be
A managed plan for the design and installation of bus
shelters should be developed which will meet the needs of people with
disabilities, including people in wheelchairs.
Examine types of seats available meeting the Australian
Standards for height, seat angle and arm rests.
Poor access to bus stops, including:
|the lack of, or substandard paving
|inadequate clear manoeuvring space
|bus ramp to kerb gradient is often greater than 1 in 8
|lamp posts adjacent to bus pads with no luminance contrast
A template of a bus should be developed, detailing the
paving, access paths and manoeuvring requirements.
A priority order should be established for upgrading bus
stops on specific routes.
Where practical, existing stops should be upgraded to meet
the disability standards and such as raising the kerb heights, constructing
the bus pad and installing tactile paving at boarding points.
Relocate lamp posts and/or apply paint/stickers to provide
People with vision impairment have difficulty finding bus
Investigate the use of global positioning systems and audio
In busy areas – a preferred route for the vision impaired to
walk (eg from shopping mall to bus stops).
Tactile paving across footpaths to indicate the path to a
Need to identify and prioritise bus routes to be made
Consult with peak disability organisations to determine
which routes will be made accessible (eg: those past educational facilities
and work/office centres).
Difficulties experienced trying to cross road once a person
has alighted from a bus. Lack of ramps – access to road.
Include ramp to roadway from bus stops.
Lack of information at bus stops and Stops for vision
People who are wheelchair dependent and people of short
stature have difficulty reading some signs.
Inadequate, inconsistent positioning of signs and type of
Signs should be placed at a height conforming to the
disability standards. People who are vision impaired require signs
which are slightly curved following the line of the pole, have rounded
edges, a matt finish, raised lettering and contrasting background colour to
(If signs do not have a matt finish they should be placed in
a non-reflective area as the sun can be counter productive).
Signs should include braille and large letters.
At major bus stops the signs should display both the route
number and the timetable.
Destination indicators on buses are too small and unclear.
People with vision impairment have difficulty seeing and reading them.
Information should be located on the front, side and rear of
Specifications for accessible buses will include
more-easily readable, destination/route number information above the
driver’s position as well as at the side and rear of the bus with a clear
border, as specified by the disability standards.
Sometimes where two or more routes depart from the same bay
or stop, not all buses pull up at the head of the rank.
Lack of non-visual means of identifying a bus by route.
A communication system should be implemented to facilitate
the identification of buses and bays for the vision impaired.
Service providers should be required to ensure that
their drivers assist customers to identify the route a bus is operating by
pulling up to the head of the rank.
A means that preserves the dignity of people with
disabilities, will be developed for consumers to be able to indicate
to the driver what route is required.
Communicating with bus operators and information staff
presents problems for people with:
Options will be investigated for alternative means of
communication, such as reminder tags (with destination identification to
hand to bus operators to enable operators to set the passenger down at
correct destination, charge correct fare), braille, large print, and
The service provider should ensure that all staff undertake
training focusing on dealing with people with disabilities.
Inability of the blind and vision impaired to identify
which bus they are travelling on (in case of lost property, complaint or
The service provider should make available material for
educating consumers to note the route number, destination and time of travel
to assist operators in identifying the service they have used.
Lack of audio as well as visual route number identification
systems at major points (eg bus Stops and heavily used bus stops).
Identifying the correct bus to catch.
Investigate best means of providing information (eg
bus-based or bus-stop-based announcements).
The service provider should keep abreast of technological
advances in relation to communication systems for the vision impaired.
The driver must always pull into the kerb at the designated
point of departure.
Lack of or inappropriate passenger communication devices,
such as emergency switches, etc.
Design, such as a contrasting colour and location
improvements for ‘next stop’ buttons on new buses, will be specified in bus
Bus operators should seek opportunities for improvements to
communication devices on existing buses.
Devices and switches should be uniformly placed and users
should be educated of their placement.
Some consumers are unaware of the service provider’s
Service providers should inform users of the available
The service provider should continue with appropriate staff
counselling and driver disciplinary processes which are already in place to
deal with complaints.
Lack of identification on route maps of the location of
accessible bus stops
Service provider should distinguish which bus stops are
accessible on route maps.
Lack of staff competencies in dealing with people with
disabilities leads to attitudinal barriers.
Lack of, or recent review of operational policy regarding
behaviour of bus operators towards passengers with disabilities.
Service level agreements with service provider should
require accredited training.
The Service Provider will ensure that driver training
|processes for assisting people with disabilities
|an understanding of their responsibilities
Competency measures and accreditation of staff who assist
people with disabilities should be developed.
Operational staff training and accreditation should be
implemented using international best practice disability standards and
Lack of involvement of people with disabilities in staff
Development and presentation of training programs should
include input from people with disabilities.
Skills and attitude of staff providing information services
Improve consultation between providers and users in training
Need to develop competency based training for areas
providing information services.
Some Pictures of Accessible Public Buses
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