We welcomed special guest speaker Tricia Malowney OAM, Chief Accessibility Advocate at the Department of Transport and Planning to our client and family forum on 22 March, where the topic for discussion was Public Transport and Accessibility.
As well as hearing some of the pain points for people with disability on public transport, it was great to learn more about some of the initiatives that Tricia is involved in through her advocacy work at the Department of Transport. These included:
- Travelling in the Shoes of Others program – where participants spend half a day on public transport with a simulated disability or mobility restriction to experience some of the challenges that people with different needs face on public transport.
- Try Before You Ride – where a tram, bus, train, coach and a taxi are available for people of all abilities to test out and to boost their confidence when using the public transport system, with staff on-hand to talk about the accessibility features on the different types of public transport.
Tricia also shared some initiatives/resources that are available to support people with disability with their travel on public transport, such as:
- Travellers Aid – assistance with travel, including connection assistance, mobility equipment hire, companion service, personal care and more at major train stations.
- Hidden Disabilities Sunflower - a tool for people to voluntarily share that they have an invisible disability or condition and that they may need help, understanding, or more time in shops, at work, on transport, or in public spaces.
- PTV Journey Planner – an online tool (also available via the PTV app) where people can plan their public transport journey, including finding transport that meets their accessibility requirements.
For those who wish to raise any concerns regarding public transport, they can also make a complaint to the Public Transport Ombudsman – Simon McKenzie, via the PT Ombudsman website.
Need support to access public transport? Our Community Hub programs include travel training, to empower our clients to navigate public transport independently. Find out more about our Hubs online.