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Section II

Usability of Public Transport for Differently abled People in Sri Lanka


W. K. Mampearachchi ,

University Moratuwa, LK
About W. K.
Eng. (Dr.), BSc. Eng.(Hons.)(Moratuwa), MSCE (South Florida), PhD (Florida), CMILT (UK),
Senior Lecturer, Department of Civil Engineering
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S. Suman

Hairu Engineering Consultancy (Pvt) Ltd., LK
About S.
Site Engineer, B.Sc. Eng. (Hons) (Moratuwa),
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As a developing country, public transport is a vital part of the National transport system. In Sri Lanka, Buses, Trains, Vans, and Three wheelers are widely used as public transport modes. Even though Sri Lanka has almost adequate numbers of fleet in each public transport modes, they do not have sufficient facilities for differently abled people.


It has been found that number of differently abled people has increased significantly due to the civil war which was ended in 2009. The differently abled people are the people who have only certain limitation on their activities. It was found that majority of them are not employed and depend on their families for survival. So the public transport system should be accessible, usable and safe for differently abled people to join them for the economic development of Sri Lanka.


There should be well developed specifications such as TRL Overseas Road Note 21 and DPTAC manual for public transport modes to accommodate differently abled people. In Sri Lanka, the Gazette of Democratic Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka No 1,467/15 dated on 17/10/2006 [2] is the only one available, but, it does not have much detailed specifications. Therefore, the need of a new specification has been emphasized in this study.


The problems in public transport modes in serving differently abled people of Sri Lanka were gathered through a questionnaire survey by mail. Response of three types of disabilities; visually, hearing and physical impaired were analyzed in the study to understand the accessibility issue of differently abled people. Detailed survey of public transport facilities was conducted to identify the suitability of available transport modes for differently abled people. Survey on the existing transport modes showed that most of the vehicles that are used in public transport do not have adequate facilities for the differently abled people.

ENGINEER, Vol. 47, No. 02, pp. 47-55, 2014

How to Cite: Mampearachchi, W.K. and Suman, S., 2014. Usability of Public Transport for Differently abled People in Sri Lanka. Engineer: Journal of the Institution of Engineers, Sri Lanka, 47(2), pp.47–55. DOI:
Published on 20 Apr 2014.
Peer Reviewed


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