I watched an old man get down from a bus yesterday. The last step of the bus was probably 1.5 feet off the ground, so the old man had to steady himself, grab the handle-bar and then gingerly first put one foot on the ground, and then another and let go off the bar. It took a couple of seconds and it didn’t help that the bus driver was already threatening to move or that there were passengers waiting to get in.
It’s hard for older folks when they get on the bus too, because again they have to hoist themselves up and at their age it isn’t easy. (I’m not including the problems people with disabilities face in this post because that’s a whole other topic and requires a different post.)
Making it easier to get onto the bus or get off would be the first thing that bus manufacturers should do. One way to fix this would be to have a retractable step that the driver could control, so the step is much closer to the ground. This technology is not new and is already being used in buses. I’m sure that there are other options that I haven’t considered but this was the most obvious one I could think of.
With average life expectancy increasing, it means that there will be more people who are in their 60s and 70s. So, designers and manufacturers had better start considering these folks when they are creating products.