The European FP7 on Transport highlights the importance of developing Pan-European transport systems for the benefit of all citizens, with reference to the European transport policy. Despite recent progress made, many European citizens are still experiencing barriers and reduced accessibility to transportation.
The population of Europe is ageing, and already one in every ten European citizens is aged 60 or over. The United Nations estimates that 10% of all people have a disability. Over half the population of older people lives in urban areas, so it is becoming increasingly important for urban transport systems to be accessible.
To enable Europe's cities to assess the extent to which their public transport system is fully inclusive, the MEDIATE project aimed to establish a common European methodology for measuring accessibility. This will lead to the development of a self-assessment tool that can be used by policy makers to identify areas where upgrading will improve the accessibility of public transport in their city.
MEDIATE is expected to have an impact on the following:
- development of more inclusive urban transport systems with better access for all;
- establishment of common European standards, and
- European cooperation.
A common European methodology for assessing, describing and measuring accessibility of transport is dependent on a European approach.
The overall objective of MEDIATE was to contribute to the development of inclusive urban transport systems with better access for all citizens. The MEDIATE project was a Coordination and Support Action and the project objective was to establish a common European methodology for assessing, describing and measuring accessibility to transport. MEDIATE assisted public authorities and transport operators in achieving equality of access by:
- identifying indicators for describing accessibility;
- providing a self-assessment methodology for measuring accessibility;
- making comparisons with good practice solutions;
- exchanging knowledge among stakeholders involved, and
- disseminating expected results.
The MEDIATE consortium consisted of eight partners and actively involved a network of public transport operators and local authorities, an End User Platform (including people with disabilities, older people, and people facing barriers to transport), industry, and experts within the field of accessibility, at each stage of the process. This ensured that all stakeholders were involved in providing input and facilitating dissemination in a European context.
The important outputs from the MEDIATE project are:
- identification of a set of common European indicators for describing accessibility;
- development of a self-assessment tool for measuring accessibility of urban transport;
- establishment of a 'one-stop-shop' website providing information on the accessibility of public transport systems, good practice and other relevant information;
- publication of a Good Practice Guide; and
- creation of an End User Platform representing a broad range of passenger groups, which will continue beyond the life-span of the project.
An efficient and integrated mobility system:
- A single European Transport Area
- Service quality and reliability
Innovating for the future (technology and behaviour):
- Integrated urban mobility