In Washington state, June is Ride Transit Month where they celebrate public transportation and the options available to residents across the state to get where they need to go while reducing congestion and their impact on the environment. For people with disabilities in Washington state and elsewhere, reliable, accessible public transportation may be the only option to get to school, work, or play, or to accomplish everyday tasks like shopping or going to the doctor.
The NIDILRR grantee community has worked on the issue of accessible public transportation for many years. Here is a selection of resources that transportation planners, administrators, and advocates can use to explore transportation options and develop programs that offer reliable and accessible transportation to all.
- The Rehabilitation Research and Training Center (RRTC) on Disability in Rural Communities developed a Transportation Voucher System, which puts resources for transportation into the hands of individual consumers and trusts them to use their knowledge and skills and vouchers to organize their own transportation. A toolkit for operating a program is also available.
- The Rehabilitation Engineering Research Center on Accessible Public Transportation focuses on technology and policy development in this area. Their research has resulted in Tiramisu, an app that crowd-sources availability of accessible buses; Accessible Public Transportation: Designing Service for Riders with Disabilities, a textbook on accessible public transportation; and research on the usability of public bus designs. Check out Universal Design & Accessible Transit Systems: Facts to Consider when Updating or Expanding Your Transit System, developed with Project ACTION.
- A recent field-initiated project on Investigating Performance Indicators in Accessible and Inclusive Public Transportation looked at paratransit and fixed-route services, including lab-based testing of public bus layouts which we highlighted in our Research In focus series, and more!
- The RRTC on Employment of Individuals with Blindness or Other Visual Impairments released the second edition of A Transportation Guide for Persons Who are Blind or Have Low Vision. This center also offers a customizable transportation plan, and transportation briefs on navigating public transportation and other topics.
Outside the NIDILRR Community, consider connecting with:
- The US Department of Transportation, the main agency for public transportation policy and development, including policies regarding equal access to transportation. Watch their video on ADA and the Federal Transit Administration to learn how it helps transit agencies comply with the ADA and other accessibility laws.
- The National Aging and Disability Transportation Center, funded by the Federal Transit Administration and administered with guidance from the Administration for Community Living. NADTC promotes the availability and accessibility of transportation options for older adults, people with disabilities, caregivers, and communities. Visit their website to learn about training and webinars, grants for community programs, and more.
- Project ACTION from Easterseals, Inc., which provides customized training solutions and technical expertise on the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and accessible transportation. Check out their regular webinars, plus certification programs and courses.
Looking for research in this area? Dive into REHABDATA:
- All abstracts discussing public transportation
- NIDILRR-funded abstracts discussing public transportation
- International research on public transportation
If you are looking for transportation options in your community, or you are a researcher who would like to explore more publications in the NARIC collection, please contact an Information Specialist today!