Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Buses to Better Accomodate Disabled People

People with disabilities may find it easier to use public transportation in the future, thanks to new research being performed by Carnegie Mellon University (CMU) and the University at Buffalo (UB). A grant from the U.S. Department of Education catalyzed a five-year, $4.7 million dollar effort to help the universities collaborate on a new Rehabilitation Engineering Research Center on Accessible Public Transportation. Aaron Steinfeld, a systems scientist at CMU, leads the investigation and co-directs the new facility with his father Edward, of UB. Aaron Steinfeld says public transit is crucial to the personal independence and employment of people with disabilities, and it should be developed so that they can use it easily. The new center will incorporate public input in both individual and community formats. Gillig Corp., a large bus manufacturer, and the transit systems of Pittsburgh and Buffalo are all partnering with the center to develop and implement new designs in buses when they are made.

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