Göteborg's transport system: accessible for all (Sweden)

By News Editor / Updated: 14 Jan 2015
The City of Göteborg has developed a project to transform the public transport system into one that is accessible to all. The project is known as Kolla and started in 2004 after a study was conducted to examine how people with mobility difficulties can use public transport in an easier and less costly way.

In 2003, a team from the Swedish city of Göteborg analysed how the transport system could be made friendlier and less costly for people with reduced mobility. Their recommendations were released in 2004 and this led to the development of the Kolla project. Through Kolla, Göteborg aimed to deliver a public transport system accessible to all by 2010. It set itself the target that 98 per cent of all citizens should be able to use public transport (an increase of 2.5 per cent on 2005 figures).

The following three priorities were set:

  • Increase the accessibility of streets, stops, stations and vehicles;
  • Increase comfort, by focusing on training, the provision of IT support and personal support at chosen stops, and the establihsment of a call service;
  • Intensify cooperation and dialogue between stakeholders.

The project aimed to achieve the following goals by 2010:

  • More public transport should be available for everybody;
  • 98 per cent of the citizens of Göteborg should be able to travel on public transport;
  • The distinction between special transport services and regular public transport should not exist.

Most disabled people in Göteborg travelled by taxi or wheelchair buses, of which the unit cost to the authority is respectively 14 and 21 times more expensive than conventional public transport. The city therefore aimed to raise the proportion of disabled people travelling by conventional public transport and the dial-a-ride feeder service, Flex line, which collects passengers from their home and drops them off at the nearest public transport stop. The unit cost of Flex line is half that of a taxi, i.e. seven times greater than conventional public transport.

In action 

Key achievements include:

  • One bus line and one tram line have been made fully accessible (vehicle and stops);
  • A map of accessible journeys has been created;
  • Personal assistance at major interchanges has been introduced;
  • Since December 2005, training has been delivered on the needs of disabled people in public transport;
  • The service for transporting disabled people has been taken over by the public transport authority.

The actions for 2006 were:

  • Adaptation of more lines;
  • Driver education on the needs of disabled people;
  • Travel training;
  • Development of the Flex lines;
  • Personal assistance in more places;
  • Testing of ramps;
  • Development of the payment system;
  • Development of the IT system;
  • More full scale testing of buses.

The general actions achieved by the Kolla project were:

  • Adaptation of other lines on a line-by-line basis;
  • Driver training;
  • Development of the Flex line;
  • Development of the IT system and payment system;
  • Extension of personal assistance;
  • R&D to encourage a cultural change and study the economic impacts.;

The specific actions of the 2005 and 2010 phases were:

Gothenburg 2005

  • 700 000 STS trips are made by cabs and mini bus;
  • 40 per cent of the tram stops and 10% of other main stops are accessible;
  • 50 per cent of the trams and 86% of the buses have step free access;
  • 50 per cent of the vehicles have automatic voice announcements;
  • There are eight Flexlines and a permit is required to travel.

Gothenburg 2010

  • 540 000 STS trips are made by cabs and mini bus;
  • 90 per cent of the tram stops and 100% of the other main stops are accessible;
  • 62 per cent of the trams have step free access and ramp. All buses have step free access and ramp;
  • 90 per cent of vehicles have automatic voice announcement;
  • There are 20 Flexlines and everyone can travel with them.
Transport for people with reduced mobility
Northern Europe
Rödsta Eva
11 May 2011
14 Jan 2015