This research project, conducted in 2007–09, reviewed international best practice for auditing public transport (PT) accessibility, and developed and piloted a New Zealand-specific PT accessibility audit methodology.
The accessibility audit and report card takes a 'whole-of-journey' approach to accessibility, thus including: service coverage, accessing information about the services; getting to the service; paying for the service; getting on board; enjoying the ride; getting to the final destination (where people want to go, when they want to get there); and making the return trip. Affordability of the service has been excluded from the current audit and report card.
The audit uses a simple yes/no checklist to assess accessibility factors and summarises these in a report card which tallies the number of 'barriers to access' rated as 'severe' (3), 'moderate' (2) and 'slight' (1) on the route/corridor for each of six PT user categories. The audit and report card were piloted on three routes in Greater Wellington.
The audit and report card are supplemented with a best practice guide to the factors that contribute to making a PT journey accessible to any or all categories of PT user.
Possible future improvements include developing a web-based assessment tool; including ferry, total mobility and long distance services; and exploring other rating scales and options.
Keywords: accessibility, audit, best practice, bus, guide, New Zealand, public transport, rail, regional council, report card, train, whole of journey