1 Introduction

Access to public transport is necessary to ensure that as many people as possible can use it, both for economic, societal and environmental reasons. Transport today constitutes between 10 and 20 per cent of GNP in Europe.

To have equal access to public transport is at the same time a precondition for being able to have an education, employment and participation in social networks. Many people today experience problems using public transport due to a lack of availability for one or more parts of the travel chain.  Studies show that different groups with disabilities experience transport as a significant challenge. The largest proportion who experience this are persons with learning disabilities and persons with mobility impairments[i]. This is also experienced by people with visual impairments, hearing disabilities and persons with ADHD. At the same time, there are differences between the use of public transport in relation to the type of disability – those travelling on public transport are most often those with impaired visual ability, ADHD and cognitive disabilities, while those who use public transport to the least extent are persons with reduced mobility. Reasons that are stated that public transport is perceived as difficult are most often problems with the change of means of transport, travelling to and from a stop, boarding and disembarking, advertising of stops and other factors.

For instance, a Sintef report states that:

«Transport, or the lack of such, contributes to exclude persons with disabilities from employment. Norwegian studies have proven that challenges with transport yield time-consuming organisation of everyday life and problems to perform certain work tasks (…) this contributes to employees with disabilities having reduced possibilities and motivation to take part in working life on the same level as others. (…) among the most important tools for persons with disabilities is a series of public support systems for transport»[ii].

(Source: SINTEF report A27047 Bjerkan, Øvstedal, Nordtømme, Kummeneje og Solvold: Transportordninger og arbeidsdeltakelse: Transport og arbeid blant personer med funksjonsnedsettelse.).

In the Government Action Plan for Universal Design 2015-2019 the focus is on universal design within transport and a coherent travel chain:

The Avinor, the Bane NOR and the State Highways Authority are to contribute that trave chains are universally designed. This work is to be done within the individual transport sector and across transport sectors and administrative levels, through for example the development of hubs.

The State Highways Authority has a coordinating responsibility for universal design in the whole of the road transport sector, that is national roads, regional roads and municipal roads. The State Highways Authority works to improve the coordination between different prosecutors, different means of transport and at different administrative levels. This is important to ensure a coherent door-to-door journey. The State Highways Authority also works on mission from the Ministry of Transport to adapt for a national travel planner that will contain information on features at stops and hubs. This is important to plan a coherent journey.

The State Highways Authority and Bane NOR report on the status for the work on universal design in their annual reports. The Avinor reports on status through their proprietors report and their implementation of the National Transport Plan»[iii].

(Source: The Government Action Plan for Universal Design 2015-2019).

In this guide you will find summarized all requirements that must be fulfilled for passenger transport on rail, bus and in the air shall be universally designed.

Road, rail and air transport are for many people an important part of the travel chain and all elements of such a chain must be universally designed and coherent for the performing of transport related services, user participation, tenders and other elements concerning universal design in buss, rail and air transport.

Thus the guide deals not only with the means of transport, but also the infrastructure surrounding these, with information and ICT, with the performance of transport related services, tenders and other issues affecting universal design of bus, rail and air transport.

There is also a specific chapter on relevant legislation.


  • BUS Class I: vehicles aligned with standing positions to allow for frequent boarding and disembarkation (SOURCE: European Parliament and Council Directive 2001/85/EC, Annex VII).
    • Note: Class I bus is used in urban areas and has speeds of no more than 70 km/h.
    • Note: Also includes bus class A and articulated buses.
  • BUS Class II: vehicles that are mainly aligned with seating and designed to carry standing passengers in the aisle and/or in an area no larger than that allocated to two double seats (SOURCE: European Parliament and Council Directive 2001/85/EC, Annex VII).
    • Note: Class II buses are typically used in suburban and regional and sometimes long-distance driving and have speeds of no more than 80 km/h.
    • Note: Also includes bus class B and articulated buses.
  • BUS Class III: vehicles that are aligned exclusively with seating and which are mainly used for long-haul and hiking. (SOURCE: European Parliament and Council Directive 2001/85/EC, Annex VII).
    • Note: The highest permissible speed is 100 km/h.
  • Infrastructure – includes hubs, switching points and endpoints, including stations, stops and termi1nals, buildings in connection with bus and rail transport used by the public, vending machines, ICT and more.
  • User involvement – involvement of those using a product or service, in this context passengers on ferries and speedboats.
  • Information – communicated over speaker, monitors, sound guy, signage and more.
  • Services – Customer Care for Passengers

1.1. Scope

The guide includes passenger transport that is dependent on concession for a defined route area and public procurements.

1.2. Target group

The target group for this guideline is tenderers and providers in the field of bus, rail and air passenger transport.


[i] It https://bufdir.no/Statistikk_og_analyse/Nedsatt_funksjonsevne/Transport/

[ii] Se https://www.sintef.no/globalassets/sintef-teknologi-og-samfunn/rapporter-sintef-ts/a27047_samordning-av-offentlige-stotteordninger-for-transport_sec.pdf

[iii] Se https://www.regjeringen.no/contentassets/b335313065f440f6bd7cc203a8e0ce2d/regjeringens-handlingsplan-for-universell-utforming-2015-2019-1.pdf