Fireside Chat #2 – Inclusive and Equitable Transport

This webinar was held on 15 September 2020.

ITE-ANZ welcomed three speakers to start a conversation among the Australia and New Zealand transportation industry about equitable and inclusive transportation.

Bridget Burdett, Principal researcher at MRCagney (Hamilton, New Zealand) spoke about inequities in transport access associated with disability and income. Bridget demonstrated the use of readily available statistics (Statistics NZ or ABS) to identify disparities in access to transportation among segments of the population with disability or low income, imploring transport planners (who are often those least likely to themselves face such forms of disadvantage) to factor equity outcomes into their transport planning.

David Simmonds, Director for Transport Accessibility and Inclusion at the Department of Transport, Victoria, shared his own experience as a legally blind public transport user commuting from a regional Victorian centre to the CBD. David shared some of the specific challenges he faced, and ways that both technology (particularly smart phones) and his guide dog Zinnia, enable him to confidently access day to day opportunities using the transport network. However, David notes that his guide dog is sometimes the source of exclusion, from services such as taxis, which is a tendency which certain projects run by DoT have been set up to address, to ensure a culture of ensuring such users are welcome and able to use transport. David fielded questions about the pros and cons of technologies such as tactile paving, and of immersive training for building empathy among transport planners.

Janine Pawson, Senior Service Designer at Aurecon (Melbourne), spoke about the need to understand what is needed to make transport enjoyable and easy for all kinds of people to use. She outlined the SAFETY framework, which strives to deliver security, autonomy, fairness, esteem, trust and you . Janine highlighted ways in which projects from Infrastructure Australia’s priority list can contribute meaningfully to equity among remote and urban communities and segments of the population with different income and mobility constraints.

A message resounding from all three presentations was that there is no ‘one size fits all’ approach to delivering equitable transport solutions. It is for this reason that every individual involved in transportation projects must continue to champion the needs of different users, to ensure equity benefits are realised.

This webinar followed the theme of an ITE podcast featuring Tamika Butler, ‘Transportation and equity’, where they discuss the challenges faced as a transport user, and how to educate others to consider the needs of transport users.