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Project Description:

The project wants to identify, analyse and raise awareness about the barriers in public transport for people with disabilities in Toruń, engaging them and their community in citizen science activities. It aims to study accessibility gaps in the public transport in Toruń, to provide the city authorities with data, illustrating the levels of satisfaction of passengers with disabilities (PwD) from using public transport.

Project Type: Kick Starter

Theme: Cities for Life, Mobility

Mentor: Cristina Luís

Toward inclusive urban mobility – A study of accessibility for people with disabilities in Toruń, Poland

The Inclusive Mobility project is a citizen science initiative investigating the challenges around the accessibility of public transport faced by people with disabilities in Toruń. The project was carried out by a team from the Sustainable Development Lab, and young researchers from Nicolaus Copernicus University and the UrbanLab, working alongside members of the local community and people with disabilities as citizen scientists, who played a crucial role in the success of the Inclusive Mobility project.

Project activities and workspace

To help the Inclusive Mobility team gather information about the challenges faced by people with different transport needs, we circulated questionnaires within these communities (from which we received feedback from  104 recipients), as well as conducting 4 community events, which focused on the issues disabled people faced at bus and tram stops, and general public transport infrastructure in the city of Toruń. 

On the basis of the collected data, together with our citizen scientists, we developed a series of recommendations that could make public transport more accessible to people with disabilities and special needs, which were disseminated to local decision-makers and urban planners. We were also able to present these findings and recommendations at a public open meeting, where we also discussed other areas of the city that would benefit from improved accessibility and inclusive infrastructure.

Importance of the project

The Inclusive Mobility project created an important platform that allowed those with disabilities to have a say in how city planning and infrastructure could better accommodate their needs, a community that tends to be invisible and inactive in public consultation processes or community surveys.

The data collected and recommendations developed showed the key problems of public transport in the city, as well as some potential solutions which will increase the inclusiveness of transport for people with disabilities, and improve the quality of travel for all users.

IMPETUS support and lessons learned

Being part of the IMPETUS Accelerator proved crucial to the success of the Inclusive Mobility project. We received valuable support, resources and mentoring, that enabled us to conduct a thorough and influential study. IMPETUS equipped the team with the skills and knowledge needed to tackle real-world challenges through workshops, networking opportunities, and access to cutting-edge tools.

Next steps

Looking to the future, the team anticipates using the information gathered to establish cooperation with local authorities and public transport operators in the city. We will monitor the implementation of improvements in the accessibility of public transport in Toruń and observe the transformation of project findings into practical solutions, ensuring a more inclusive public transport system in the future. 

We will use the established relationships with people with disabilities and within the project team for future activities, to help create cities that are accessible to everyone.

Learn more about the Inclusive Mobility project by visiting their website, or watching the video below:

Inclusive mobility – Video