Toward universal design in public transportation systems: An analysis of low-floor bus passenger behavior with video observations

Hwan Hwangbo, Jiyeon Kim, Sunwoong Kim, Yong Gu Ji

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

19 Citations (Scopus)


This study aims to investigate the relationship between ergonomic comfort and the provision of accessibility features for mobility-impaired persons in the use of public transportation systems in Korea. To deal with mobility issues in a public transportation environment, we chose the low-floor bus as our research subject because it is the representative of a barrier-free design solution. We collected data via video observation, which can overcome the limitations of traditional accessibility-focused studies and laboratory studies by providing data on real usage patterns. We developed a framework to analyze the gathered data which includes user, space, tools, activities, and context. As a result, we observed existing difficulties of mobility-impaired persons in terms of moving and supporting their bodies on the bus, despite the application of accessibility features. Furthermore, the design only for accessibility of mobility-disabled persons can cause unexpected predicaments for the passengers who do not have physical handicaps. Drawing on these findings, we concluded that the concept of universal design in public transportation environments must be introduced in Korea. This study suggests video observation as a useful methodology for collecting data in dynamic environments. Additionally, our study is expected to contribute to how the concept of universal design can be implemented, and stimulate issues for ergonomic research based on our behavior pattern analysis.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)183-197
Number of pages15
JournalHuman Factors and Ergonomics In Manufacturing
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2015 Mar 1

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2012 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Human Factors and Ergonomics
  • Industrial and Manufacturing Engineering


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