THE MOBILITY DIVIDE INDEX – A brand-new measuring system of public transportation accessibility for people with disabilities

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Tally Hatzakis | Senior Research Analyst

Date: 21 December 2021

Trilateral Research is delighted to announce the release of the TRIPS White Paper “The Mobility Divide Index – A brand-new measuring system of public transportation accessibility for people with disabilities”, where we describe our Mobility Divide Index (MDI); a user- centric methodology and metric aiming to measure the level of accessibility of public transport services from a user’s perspective.

A common complaint of disabled users is that the accessibility of transport services is monitored by transport operators themselves and the lack of an external auditing body for it. In addition, their complaints to customer services are rarely responded to in a meaningful way, and investment in accessibility solutions is driven by operational, not customer priorities. Finally, accessibility is assessed by transport operators through objective measures, such as distance to the closest bus stop from home, which is not a meaningful metric of accessibility.

To address these concerns, the TRIPS project created the Mobility Divide Index (MDI): a user-centric evaluation framework to monitor the accessibility of transport services and infrastructure along users’ end-to-end journey and seeks to develop this framework into an on-the-go app to crowdsource accessibility data and turn data into useful information for municipalities and transport operators though a visualisation dashboard.

In our study, we viewed accessibility as an indicator of user experience and sought to provide a comprehensive evaluation framework that reflects disabled users’ experience with the view to inform policy directions, investment decisions, and transport plans paving the way for a more inclusive mobility.

Our MDI approach is based on a co-design methodology resulting in a set of user-centric indicators, reviewed, rated, prioritised, and validated by persons with different disabilities. We account for differences in mobility services across six important user experience dimensions as an index of the accessibility divide between persons with disabilities and non- disabled citizens.

To read the full White paper click here.

For more information on the development of our work in this area please contact our team.

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