Regulating for inclusive access: lessons for transport from the pandemic


19 May
16:30 to 18:00
Hall 2, Level +1

The priorities for post-pandemic mobility should be inclusive and shared, connected and sustainable. Developing a supportive regulatory framework to capitalise on the shift toward active and sustainable modes is an important strategy to support these priorities. Policy and regulation should allow innovation to flourish, and should be accompanied by monitoring and evaluation frameworks focused on assessing their impact on the ground. National governments can play a crucial role in empowering cities to make their transport policies more inclusive and in providing funding to support these changes.

During the height of the pandemic, we all learned what it means to be a person with reduced mobility due to the restricted access to various opportunities. For people with disabilities, this is a daily reality. In response to barriers in access and reduced mobility, people with disabilities often have to adapt quickly, and in pragmatic ways. The need for adaptability is a key lesson from the pandemic, and it illustrates opportunities for short-term action to shape inclusive urban mobility after the pandemic.

In the past two and a half years, many cities invested in temporary infrastructure, reclaiming public space to facilitate active transport. This investment in dedicated road space for active modes resulted in a mode shift toward active modes and micromobility. Many organisations significantly expanded their teleworking programs, and there was a boom in e-commerce. All of these changes, many of which have made cities and their transportation systems more inclusive, were the result of bold decisions by policymakers to adapt quickly and pragmatically. The choice to reimagine public space and transportation to be more inclusive was supported by regulators fostering multimodality, prioritising local trips, and capitalising on the popularity of new modes. Data from micromobility partners can be used to help cities build on this momentum to identify where temporary infrastructure and accommodations should be made permanent.

The pandemic also resulted in significant pressures on the supply chain. In India, for example, the high demand for electric vehicles, including electric rickshaws, has come under pressure due to supply chain challenges. In response, government is working on a strategy to identify opportunities to invest in national research and development and strengthen local manufacturing. The national government has involved local and regional partners in this process to empower the different partners to adjust the policies to suit their local contexts.

Countries and cities that managed to respond quickly to the Covid-19 crisis often already had mechanisms in place allowing coordination between ministries, and including stakeholders in these processes. This illustrates that greater collaboration is needed everywhere among policymakers, practitioners, and stakeholders to support capacity-building and translate commitments into action. This collaboration must be accompanied by a human-centred approach to understanding the challenges and context, which can only be achieved through better stakeholder engagement. Understanding the needs of people using a system is the difference between meeting the minimum requirements for inclusion, and providing attractive and comfortable barrier-free facilities and systems. 


Sudhendu Jyoti Sinha


NITI Aayog (National Institution for Transforming India)

Kate Barnes

Head of Public Policy - Safety & Inclusion

TIER Mobility

Peter Cosyn

Senior Project Manager & Accessibility Expert

Tractebel Engineering

Susanna Zammataro

Director General

International Road Federation (IRF)

Jaehak Oh


Korea Transport Institute (KOTI)

Regulating for inclusive access: lessons for transport from the pandemic