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Revealed: the world’s most accessible city break destinations

A new study has revealed which cities have the best metro networks for disabled travellers

Ed Cunningham
Written by
Ed Cunningham

There are simply so many ways that cities can make themselves more accessible for disabled travellers. From having special provisions on buses and trams to simply keeping the state of its pavements in check, a city can take simple steps to make travel more inclusive. Sure, Disability Pride Month has just passed, but this is stuff we should be thinking about year-round. 

A great measure of a city’s accessibility is how well its metro system – often the easiest and fastest ways of getting around town –  caters to different needs. If you can easily use a metro system, well, chances are that a city is pretty darn accessible.

Research from the makers of Passenger Assistance, an app that assists disabled travellers, has looked into the number of step-free stations in cities’ metro networks around the world. The best cities in the ranking weren’t just those which had lots of step-free access, but those which boasted that kind of access across a huge network.

Top of the study came Seoul, which has step-free access at a whopping 100 percent of its 622 stations. Shanghai and Osaka followed Seoul, both of which also have 100 percent step-free networks – Shanghai has 345 stations and Osaka has 133.

Down the other end of the ranking, the metros of Paris, Glasgow and Montreal all offer the least amount of step-free access. Of Paris’ 303 metro stations, a pitiful 2.9 percent were judged to be accessible.

According to Passenger Assistance’s study, these are the top 10 cities in the world for accessibility.

  1. Seoul, South Korea
  2. Shanghai, China
  3. Osaka, Japan
  4. Istanbul, Turkey
  5. Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
  6. Vienna, Austria
  7. Washington D.C., USA
  8. Dubai, UAE
  9. Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
  10. Copenhagen, Denmark

Did you see that these are the greenest cities in Europe in 2022?

Plus: the best European road trips for electric cars.

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