Florida Public Health Review

Publication Date

June 2009


Over 54 million U.S. citizens report living with at least one disability. The Americans with Disabilities Act stipulates legislation that prohibits the discrimination of persons on the basis of disability. Rather than riding the bus in areas that offer a fixed-route bus system, individuals with disabilities often rely on expensive and limited paratransit services, or on family and friends. It has been proposed that with improvements in bus accessibility, riders with disabilities could use the fixed-route system more often and increase their options for independence and community participation. During their 2008 spring semester, participants in the University of Florida College of Public Health and Health Professions’ course, Assessment and Surveillance, partnered with the Center for Independent Living (CIL) of North Central Florida to conduct an accessibility study of the Gainesville, Florida fixed-route bus system. Students focused on factors that make bus stops user-friendly for persons with disabilities. This paper presents the rationale, methods, and findings from this accessibility study and efforts undertaken to forge a mutually beneficial partnership among UF-PHHP students and the CIL.