Accessibility vision published – aiming for smooth, safe and independent journeys

Ministry of Transport and Communications
Publication date 24.11.2023 10.28 | Published in English on 28.11.2023 at 15.15
Press release
(Image: LVM)

The Ministry of Transport and Communications has published a vision for an accessible transport system. The vision defines the aims for the development of the accessibility of the transport system throughout Finland.

According to the vision, everyone is entitled to a journey that they can plan and carry out in a smooth, safe and independent manner. The values of the vision include an accessible travel chain, multisensory experience, user experience and cooperation. 

“Mobility is a fundamental right of everyone. An accessible transport system promotes free movement for everyone, throughout Finland. The Government is promoting the implementation of accessibility. For example, a legislative project on taxis is taking into account different customer groups and examining the training requirements for drivers. Publicly organised transport services are being developed in cooperation with municipalities and wellbeing services counties,” says Lulu Ranne, Minister of Transport and Communications.

Accessible travel chains serve everyone from start to finish

A travel chain covers everything from planning a trip to completing it. The travel chain may include buying a ticket, finding the information needed to make the trip and going to a stop or station. 

In an accessible travel chain, all parts of the chain are available to everyone even if they have functional limitations. If not all parts of the travel chain are digitally or physically accessible, the trip may become impossible.

Accessibility benefits all users

The key principle of the vision is that accessibility is not separate from other planning, and instead should be taken into account in all transport planning. Planning should take into account, at minimum, the needs of passengers with visual and hearing impairments, passengers with reduced mobility and users who otherwise require ease of access. 

The vision encourages transport operators to go beyond the minimum legal requirements and work together with other operators and different user groups to create an accessible travel chain.

The aims of the vision are divided into four categories

1: Transport infrastructure

The transport infrastructure covers the physical environment needed for travel, such as platform areas, accessible routes and adequate lighting. 

The goal is to build accessible transport infrastructure that serves all users. Accessibility and safety can also be ensured by means of infrastructure maintenance and management, regardless of the season. 

2: Mobility services

Mobility services are physical and digital transport services required for travel. For example, information that supports travel, various applications and the availability of services are parts of this whole. 

According to the vision, accessibility is included in the planning of new mobility services and digital services. Public transport services designed for accessibility support independent mobility. Commissioners of public transport services must have the necessary expertise in commissioning accessible public transport services and an understanding of the needs of people belonging to special groups.

3: Means of transport

Accessible means of transport are safe for all users. The goal is for everyone to be able to find themselves a place in public transport that suits their needs. Operators understand the needs of special groups and have the capacity to meet them. In addition, all public transport should provide travel information in accessible form.

4: Accessibility data

The vision aims to provide passengers with up-to-date and reliable data on accessibility in transport services and infrastructure. Up-to-date data also adapts to exceptional situations. The data should be easy to find and access. 

The vision is part of the implementation of Transport 12, the national 12-year transport system plan. It also promotes in Finland the implementation of the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities. 

Next steps

The ministry is currently working on a number of legislative and policy projects related to transport services and the transport system, which implement the objectives of the accessibility vision as part of the ministry’s regular official work. The accessibility vision is also linked to the further work on the Transport 12 plan.

In 2024–2025, the ministry intends to organize discussion sessions related to the vision areas for key operators and organisations to support a change of attitude. In addition, operators can be encouraged to find solutions that go beyond the minimum requirements in their own activities and in their collaboration with others.


Eveliina Uusitalo, Senior Officer, eveliina.uusitalo(at), tel. +358 295 342 028

Mikael Åkermarck, Ministerial Adviser, mikael.akermarck(at), tel. +358 295 342 396

Sini Wirén, Director of Unit, sini.wiren(at), tel. +358 295 534 532