Shared mobility services: an accessibility assessment from the perspective of people with disabilities


Shared on-demand mobility services emerge at a fast pace, changing the landscape of public transport. However, shared mobility services are largely designed without considering the access needs of people with disabilities, putting these passengers at risk of exclusion. Recognising that accessibility is best addressed at the design stage and through direct participation of persons with disabilities, the objective of this study was to explore disabled users’ views on the following emerging shared mobility services: (a) ride pooling, (b) microtransit, (c) motorbike taxis, (d) robotaxis, (f) e-scooter sharing, and (g) bike sharing.

Methodolgy: Using an online mobility survey, we sampled disabled users’ (1) views on accessibility, (2) use intention, and (3) suggestions for improving accessibility. The results reflect the responses of 553 individuals with different types of disabilities from 21 European countries. Results: Projected accessibility and use intention were greatest for microtransit, robotaxis, and ride pooling across different disabilities. In contrast, motorbike taxis, e-scooter sharing, and bike sharing were viewed as least accessible and least attractive to use, especially by persons with physical, visual, and multiple disabilities. Despite differences in projected accessibility, none of the shared mobility services would fulfil the access needs of disabled persons in their current form. Suggestions for increasing the accessibility of these services included (a) an ondemand door-to-door service, (b) an accessible booking app, (c) real-time travel information, and (d) the necessity of accommodating wheelchairs.

Conclusions: Our findings highlight the need for improving both vehicles and service designs to cater for the access needs of persons with disabilities and provide policymakers with recommendations for the design of accessible mobility solutions.


Anne Goralzik, Alexandra König, Laura Alčiauskaitė, Tally Hatzakis

Date Published

July 25, 2022