The National Transport Authority (NTA) takes the accessibility needs of people into consideration at the design stage for all new transport infrastructure projects and transport vehicles purchased.
Bus and Rail
The existing infrastructure of the bus and rail system is old and making it accessible is a huge job.
The Public Transport Accessibility Programme aims to fund projects to adapt this infrastructure with an allocation of almost €28 million for the accessibility retrofit programme, running from 2018 to 2021.
Under the programme the NTA oversees accessibility projects in rail stations to improve access and provide lifts to allow access to transport platforms. It also oversees the installation of new bus stops at bus stations to allow high floor coaches to pick up passengers in wheelchairs.
In towns with a population greater than 5,000 the NTA, with the support and engagement of all Local Authorities, aims to provide one accessible bus stop in each direction to allow coaches to pick up passengers in wheelchairs.
Taxi and Hackney
The NTA provides grants to assist taxi and hackney drivers with the cost to convert or purchase a new wheelchair accessible vehicle.
Applicants must attend a Skills and Development course, which provides disability awareness and all new entrants to the industry must now have a wheelchair accessible vehicle.
Since the introduction of these measures, the number of wheelchair accessible vehicles within the fleet has increased to 15%.
Travel Assistance Scheme
The NTA continues to support the Travel Assistance Scheme, which aims to give people with disabilities the confidence to use public transport.
It is a free service run by Dublin Bus and is available within the Greater Dublin Area for people aged 18 and over.
Under the scheme an assistant can accompany people who need help using public transport and give advice how to plan a journey on Dublin Bus, Luas, DART and Go-Ahead Ireland services.