Identification of Accessibility Gaps for Wheelchair-Bound Disabled People Using Railway as a Mode of Transportation From Colombo to Gampaha Railway Stations – Sri Lanka 2018
Posted: 6 Dec 2019
Date Written: December 4, 2019
The disabled people are the people community who has certain limitations on their activities. As a developing country, public transport is a significant sector of the national transport system. In Sri Lanka buses, trains, vans, three-wheelers are the most used public transport modes. Railway is one of the major transport modes which is been used for number of decades. However, it is not evident that how far disabled people can use railway transport as their main transport mode. Objectives were to find out the accessibility gaps wheelchair- bounded disabled people in Railway transport and to provide evidence in order to improve accessibility gaps hence quality of life of wheelchair-bound disabled passengers 15 railway stations from Colombo to Gampaha. Accessibility gaps were identified during observations, and all the measurements were taken in inches and then converted into centimetres. Out of all five major trains, only two types of trains were accessible for wheelchair bounded people. Out of all the 15 stations, only Ganemulla and Bulugahagoda stations were accessible for wheelchair-bound people. Even though Maradana and Fort stations were identified as major stations. They lack wheelchair access to all the platforms, and the platform height varied irrespective of the new construction. Platform heights varied in between 60 cm (2nd platform Horape) min 220cm (2nd platform Kelaniya) max which was measured by the distance between ground and the platform. The standard wheelchair measures 151 cm, hence the minimum doorway width should be 81.2cm. According to the trains selected S10 and S11 the doorway widths were 57.1cm and 76.2cm respectively. Therefore, the gap cannot be accomplished by the wheelchair. Therefore, introducing modified train compartments or suitable ramps are highly needed in accordance with standard wheelchair measurements.
Keywords: disabled, accessibility gap, train, railway, transportation
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