Report: Accessibility of public transport travel chains has scope for improvement

Press release 04.11.2022 13.40 fi sv en

Blind passenger waiting for the bus with a guide dog. (Image: Mika Pakarinen, Keksi / LVM)

The Ministry of Transport and Communications published a report on 4 November 2022 on the findings of a study that looked into the accessibility of public transport travel chains. The findings indicate that the physical accessibility of travel chains and the availability of accessibility information on journeys should be improved.

In the study, passengers with visual and hearing impairments, passengers with reduced mobility and users who otherwise required ease of access investigated how the current public transport services, transport infrastructure and travel chains functioned for different user groups. The study sought to obtain concrete information on the challenges which the user groups need to tackle in using public transport, and to form an overall picture of the current state of the transport system. The report proposes two measures for further development.

During the study, passengers with disabilities tested public transport travel chains and journey booking. For the test journey, passengers used both short-distance and long-distance transport services to simulate common scenarios. The test journeys revealed significant shortcomings in accessibility across the travel chain. Fragmented and inadequate accessibility information, in particular, posed challenges.

Report implements accessibility measures outlined in the Transport 12 plan

In 2021, the Ministry of Transport and Communications appointed a working group to implement the accessibility measures of the national 12-year transport system plan, the Transport 12 plan. The working group is led by the Ministry of Transport and Communications.

The working group will draw up a national target state for the accessibility of the transport system and digital transport services. It will also outline the liabilities for the functioning of the different parts of the travel chain and for the realisation of passengers’ rights.

To support the drafting of the target state, the working group launched a study on how effectively people with disabilities find public transport to function. The Ministry of Transport and Communications commissioned the consulting companies Avaava and Linea to carry out the study.

What next?

The Ministry of Transport and Communications’ Transport 12 accessibility working group will review the study findings and propose measures for outlining the national accessibility target state.

The results of the study will be presented to transport sector operators. Service providers will be able to view the results and identify the measures to solve the problems.

Inquiries

Eveliina Uusitalo, Senior Officer, eveliina.uusitalo(at)gov.fi, tel. +358 50 301 8401

Mikael Åkermarck, Ministerial Adviser, mikael.akermarck(at)gov.fi, tel. +358 40 053 3847

Aino Sipari, Director of Unit, aino.sipari(at)gov.fi, tel. +358 50 326 5829