Photo Tour

This page provides an introductory tour of different access-features for passenger transport being initiated in Asia, the Americas, and Africa. The text captions in the right column describe the photos in the left column.

For more in-depth material, visit the International Resources & Web Links and Newsletters pages.

Photos not otherwise credited are by Access Exchange International.



Click for full-size image Like everyone else, this worker in Mexico needs transportation to his job. Public transport needs to be accessible for persons with mobility, sensory, and cognitive disabilities.
Click for full-size image Persons with disabilities around the world are promoting transport systems that provide mobility for everyone. Mexican disability advocates are shown meeting with local transit officials to promote accessible transport. AEI has published guides to assist planners and advocates of inclusive transportation.
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A public meeting in Cali, Colombia, discusses accessibility to Bus Rapid Transit systems. Readers can go to the Bus Rapid Transit Accessibility Guidelines in our Resources section, under the links to the World Bank.

Photo by T. Rickert, courtesy of the World Bank.

Pedestrian Infrastructure

Click for full-size image An accessible travel chain begins with safe streets and sidewalks. This street in Foshan, China, has separate rights-of-way for pedestrians, human-powered vehicles, and motor-powered vehicles.
Click for full-size image Disability advisors at Rio de Janeiro’s Independent Living Center monitored access features for this street crossing, part of the Rio City Project.
Click for full-size image Tactile guideways and tactile warning strips assist blind and sight-impaired pedestrians as well as others in Foshan, China.
Click for full-size image Tactile warnings alert this blind person crossing a mid-street island in San Francisco, USA.
Click for full-size image Busy intersections benefit from pedestrian controlled buttons and assist blind persons to cross through sound and vibration signals
Click for full-size image Tactile warnings protect blind persons – and all other passengers – from getting too close to the platform edge in transit stations.
Click for full-size image This footway adjacent to a road in Tanzania is protected by curb pieces which separate motor traffic from pedestrians and bicycles. Such basic safety measures are needed to prevent pedestrian injuries along roadways in many countries.
Click for full-size image Even better, pedestrian and non-motorized traffic can be kept safely removed from motorized traffic by accessible sidewalks separated from the roadway, in this case by a well-designed drainage system along a main road in Tanzania. Speed bumps are used to slow traffic at crosswalks.
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This pedestrian crosswalk provides level access to a bus island at an inter-modal transfer center in Mexico City.

Photo by T. Rickert, courtesy of DFID (UK) and TRL (UK).

Railroads and Subways

Click for full-size image Ticket vending machines should be low enough for use by wheelchair users and all short persons, as illustrated by the good design of this machine at a BART station in the San Francisco Bay area, USA.
Click for full-size image Stairs are often retrofitted with stair lifts in transit terminals, as here in a Tokyo subway station. However, in new construction, elevators should be considered where possible.
Click for full-size image A wheelchair user takes the elevator from the platform level of the Shenzhen, China, railroad station.
Click for full-size image Wide doors are needed to accommodate wheelchair riders entering fare-paid areas of transit terminals, as in this subway station in Rio de Janeiro.
Click for full-size image Everyone can safely board this BART train, due to a minimal horizontal and vertical gap.
Click for full-size image However, care must be taken that horizontal gaps are not too wide. The orange “gap filler” pops up when the doors open in San Francisco’s Muni Metro, assuring a safe gap.
Click for full-size image Small portable ramps can provide inexpensive access in many rail stations, as shown here in Tokyo.
Click for full-size image All passengers, and especially deaf and hard-of-hearing passengers, benefit from well-located visual information, as with this route display on board a train to the Hong Kong airport.
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Advocates Anjlee Agarwal (left) and Sanjeev Sachdeva board the accessible Delhi Metro on its inaugural run.

Photo courtesy of Sanjay Sakaria and Samarthya, from Amar Ujjala Indian Daily

Bus Transport

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Express buses in Curitiba, Brazil, exemplify universal design. All passengers, including those with disabilities, quickly board with level entry. Similar Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) systems operate in Quito, Ecuador; Bogota, Colombia, and a growing number of cities around the world.

Photo by Charles Wright, Inter-American Development Bank.

Click for full-size image Construction of this Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) trunk line corridor in Pereira, Colombia, symbolizes the rapid spread of BRT systems around the world. BRT systems lend themselves to universal design, but details must be monitored carefully to maximize accessibility.
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Although most BRT busways are on broad thoroughfares, this exclusive single-direction bus lane nearing completion in Pereira illustrates that BRT systems can sometimes be built on narrow streets.

This and above photo by T. Rickert courtesy of World Bank

Click for full-size image The photo shows an articulated bus docking at a Bus Rapid Transit station in León, Mexico.
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Pre-paid passengers inside a station board a high-capacity BRT bus in León.

This and above photo courtesy of Sistema Integrado de Transporte Masivo de León

Click for full-size image A prototype low-floor bus is tested in New Delhi adjacent to a platform the same height as the bus floor.
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A closeup of the same bus stop illustrates the advantages of fast boarding for all passengers from platforms that eliminate the need for climbing steps to board.

This and above photo courtesy of Gerhard Menckhoff of the World Bank.

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This prototype lift-equipped bus serves Mamelodi Township in South Africa. Note the excellent use of contrasting colors.

Photo by T. Rickert, courtesy of DFID (UK) and TRL (UK).

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Mexico City officials inaugurated service in 2001 with 50 new buses equipped with lifts and other access features.

Photo courtesy of Marìa Eugenia Antunez.

Click for full-size image In addition to a wheelchair lift, this bus in Mexico City has a retractable step beneath the front entrance.
Click for full-size image This low-floor bus in Warsaw, Poland, uses an inexpensive hinged ramp which provides easy boarding for passengers with disabilities.
Click for full-size image A low-floor bus in Hong Kong also exhibits excellent color contrast, using a bright yellow on key edges and surfaces.
Click for full-size image This test in South Africa of a prototype platform for use at key sites shows an alternative approach to access for wheelchair users.
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In this version, the bridge piece is mounted under the platform and put into place by the bus driver.

This and above photo courtesy of DFID (UK) and CSIR Transportek (South Africa).

Click for full-size image A prototype folding ramp is tested on this bus in San Francisco, USA.
Click for full-size image Color-contrasted hand holds on bus doors are indispensable for all passengers and especially those with mobility concerns.
Click for full-size image Transit systems around the world have reserved seating for seniors and passengers with disabilities, and often for pregnant women as well, as found on this TransMilenio bus in Bogotá, Colombia.
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Even when bus stops are not accessible to wheelchair users, access for seniors and others with disabilities can be enhanced by a level all-weather pad even in the absence of paved sidewalks. The photo is from a TransMilenio feeder route in Bogotá.

This and above photo by T. Rickert courtesy of World Bank.

Click for full-size image Thousands of Mexico City’s small inaccessible microbuses are being recycled and replaced with larger vehicles, often with better access features.
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One such feature is this priority seating located behind the driver where there is extra leg room and it is easier for blind passengers to hear the driver call out key stops.

Photo by T. Rickert, courtesy of DFID (UK) and TRL (UK).

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In other new buses in Mexico City, a wide rear door has low steps and is easily accessed by semi-ambulatory passengers from a raised sidewalk, but requires that drivers carefully pull in to the curb.

Photo by T. Rickert, courtesy of DFID (UK) and TRL (UK).

Door to Door Service

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Community initiatives are playing a growing role in providing accessible door-to-door transport in many countries. This accessible van in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, belongs to the six-vehicle fleet of Persatuan Mobiliti.

Photo courtesy of Persatuan Mobiliti

Click for full-size image Artist’s conception of a three-wheeled door-to-door vehicle connecting with an accessible ramped platform with bridge at a bus stop at a key site.
Click for full-size image This prototype three-wheeled vehicle was built with AEI’s assistance by Kepha Motorbikes in Nairobi, Kenya.
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Detail showing entry via a ramp at the rear of the test vehicle.

This and above photo courtesy of Wycliffe Kepha.

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This accessible bicycle rickshaw in India has a rear door which serves as a ramp.

Photo courtesy of Bikash Bharati Welfare Society and Lalita Sen.