Accessibility Within Public Transportation

Ian and Jeremy, 2018 Scholars

The Merriam-Webster dictionary describes being disabled as being “impaired or limited by a physical, mental, cognitive, or developmental condition.” Most people with disabilities aren’t able to complete certain tasks as they are set up in modern society—for example, boarding a bus or riding a bicycle.

Riding a standard bus can be challenging if the bus has not provided accessible services. Many buses kneel to lower the door closer to a curb, or have retractable ramps or lifts that bring the wheelchair into the vehicle. After boarding the bus, there should be spots for wheelchairs to be secured inside.

Buses are not the only transportation option. Most commercial airline provide transfer aisle chairs, waive luggage fees, and allow service animals. Airline employees are also taught skills in talking and interacting with people with disabilities. Some airlines even have programs specialized for people on the autism spectrum or with anxiety-based disabilities.

For ground transportation, there are many accessible taxi options, including Uber’s Accessibility feature, Yellow Taxi’s ramped vans, and Dial-a-Ride Transportation (DART). Google Maps also offers accessibility options, which avoid obstacles and hills. Even something as simple as bicycling has become possible for most, with hand-powered bikes and other accessible options.

Modern technology has progressed to accommodate more people. While some areas may remain inaccessible, society is constantly improving to be more accepting and inclusive.