Identifying groups of transportation disadvantaged people
Mobility is an important prerequisite for equal participation in social life and satisfaction of basic human needs. Mobility impairments can restrict the participation in social life of those affected in such way that people lack fair opportunities for fulfilling their needs. In the past, mobility problems of people with physical or sensory disability were the focus of attention while other attributes causing mobility impairment, like immigrant backgrounds, poverty etc., were mainly ignored by research and planning, despite the fact that according to estimates more than one third of the population are affected. Therefore there is little qualitative or quantitative knowledge on these impairments and the individual consequences. This project has the objective to contribute to the filling of this knowledge gap.
In the first part, the issue of fair opportunities regarding mobility is defined and the term mobility impairment as used in this paper is specified. All in all 15 different types of mobility impairment are considered. The stratified sample for this survey includes 541 mobility impaired people in Austria; semi structured face-to-face interviews were conducted. Key result of the survey is the estimate of the number of people affected and the degree of their impairment. About half of those interviewed are hampered by more than one kind of mobility impairment. The investigation of the problems encountered shows that from the point of view of those affected there are difficulties which go beyond the mere physical barriers which have been the focus of traffic planning. Problems are also caused by insufficient welfare systems, gender relation, inappropriate behavior of other transport users and inadequate information and information transfer within the transport sector. For the solution new and disregarded strategies are required.