|Title||Accessing public transport, a comparative study of Berlin and London|
Berlin and London are both major European capital cities with extensive public transport networks. The main motivation for this study stemmed from my extensive experience travelling around independently in both cities on public transport as a totally blind person. I wanted to gain a much greater insight into, and understanding of, the various practical and policy issues, which are involved in making the Berlin and London public transport networks as accessible as possible to people with a wide variety of physical and sensory impairments.
Accessibility is defined as the physical access passengers have e.g. walking time to their nearest bus stop or railway station, and once there, how easy is it for them to board and alight from the vehicles and reach their destination i.e. frequency of service, and direct services versus the need to change en route. The provision of other soft factors such as good quality customer information systems, both at the stations or stops and onboard the vehicles, is also discussed.
Accessibility is an important aspect which may help to explain some aggregate trends and differences in public transport ridership in Berlin and London. These are further investigated by examining the market share of public transport and the passenger trip rates per head of population in Berlin and London, to analyse the explanatory factors behind the trends in both cities and identify possible transfers in good practice between them. This may include such phenomena as differences in fare levels for users e.g. cash fares, travelcards and prepay smartcards, as opposed to concessionary fare schemes.
Some other significant relationships concerned with household size, levels of cycling and car availability are analysed through numerous cross tabulations using the Mobilität in Deutschland (MiD 2002) and National Travel Survey (NTS 2002-2008) aggregated data sets.