This study investigated how and to what extent the COVID-19 pandemic has further impaired access of persons with disabilities to public transport in Benin City, Nigeria.
Institutional and operational capacity of public transport services enhanced and the transport mobility of persons with disabilities improved.
Persons with disabilities are among the poorest and worst hit by the COVID-19 pandemic in low-income countries (LICs) where their transport needs are not fully understood and prioritised. Before COVID-19, persons with disabilities were found to be discriminated against in the public transport system with respect to availability, affordability, reliability, safety, and comfort. The socio-economic implications are enormous in reduced mobility, livelihood opportunities and social interaction. The pandemic has further hampered the mobility of persons with disabilities.
The study had a cross-sectional design to collect data on the people using public transport, and specifically persons with disabilities, in four local government areas in Benin City, Nigeria. A non-probabilistic sampling technique was used because of the overall population of people with disabilities in Benin City is presently not known and so the study used those who are registered with the persons with disabilities association.
A structured interview guide of open-ended questions was used to collect mainly qualitative data from respondents. Data were collected in two phases, reconnaissance and fieldwork, in the four local government areas. The fieldwork also included focus group discussions with persons with disabilities and interviews with key informants, such as officials of public transport authorities and representatives of private road transport unions.
The data collected have been collated and validated to ensure correctness. Field survey data have been coded and analysed using Atlas Ti Analyses. Descriptive analysis was used to explain the general characteristics of respondents.
The study provided data and data analysis which have been used as input in developing policy guidelines for post-COVID-19 accessible and inclusive public transport recovery for persons with disabilities. These guidelines have been prepared by the Transportation Department, Ministry of Infrastructure Benin city.