The Structural Barriers to Universally Accessible Transport: The Tshwane (ZAF) Metropolitan Area Study Case

The Structural Barriers to Universally Accessible Transport: The Tshwane (ZAF) Metropolitan Area Study Case

B. Duri R. Luke

Department of Transport and Supply Chain Management, University of Johannesburg, South Africa

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© 2022 IIETA. This article is published by IIETA and is licensed under the CC BY 4.0 license (



People with disabilities face many obstacles in accessing public transport and their needs are often overlooked. The transport systems in many countries including South Africa do not meet the basic requirements of universal design, despite the awareness, support from different organisations and inclusion in policy. The purpose of the study was to investigate the structural barriers experienced by people with disabilities in accessing transport. A structured questionnaire was used to collect data from people with disabilities. The findings of the study reveal that infrastructure is generally poorly designed and there is a lack of accessible infrastructure, which consequently compromises the safety of people with disabilities. Most people with disabilities find it difficult to cross roads or intersections. The results also reveal that public transport vehicles do not comply with universal access principles. The study recommends regular accessibility audits of infrastructure which involve the participation of people with disabilities. This study contributes to literature on transport barriers experienced by people with disabilities not only in Tshwane but in other African cities. The barriers experienced by people with disabilities established in this study could inform decision makers and thereby help to improve policies and legislation regarding the provision of universally accessible transport infrastructure and services.


: developing country, people with disabilities, public transport, structural barriers, universally accessible transport


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