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Accessible Transport

 

Easy Access Buses

Public Transport buses are low floor and are fitted with ramps that accommodate access for standard wheelchairs and light weight mobility aids.

What does "Easy Access" mean?

  • Low-floor design to provide easy access for all passengers, especially the elderly, people with disabilities, parents or carers with prams and passengers carrying awkward loads.
  • Driver activated and manual ramps and kerbside "kneeling" action to bring the floor closer to ground level, and reduce the angle between floor and kerb, improving wheelchair and pram access.
  • Strategically located handrails, bus stop button assists the mobility of frail passengers or those with a disability.
  • Provision for two wheelchairs or prams in the Priority Seating areas.
  • A special button in the Priority Seating area to enable those with limited upper body strength to signal when it is their stop.
  • Skid-resistant flooring in the Priority Seating area to reduce the amount of movement of wheelchairs while the bus is in motion.
  • Air-conditioning.

Urban buses contracted to the Department are 96% easy access buses.  It is mainly in the case of a breakdown this facility may not be available.  To arrange for an easy access bus to be on a particular service, arrangements can be made with the Public Transport Division by phoning 8924 7666, Monday to Friday 6:45am to 4:30pm and Saturday 9:00am to 1:00pm (closed Sundays and Public Holidays).  A minimum of 24hours notice is required. 

Wheelchairs Mobility Aids

Wheelchairs and mobility aids are welcomed on board low-floor, easy access buses, subject to some simple safety rules and size restrictions (see below).  Please be aware that some oversized wheelchairs and scooters will not be able to board.

Safety Rules

  • All wheelchairs and mobility aids must be fitted with a brake that must be used to hold the device in position while travelling on the bus.
  • For increased stability and safety whilst travelling on the bus, position your wheelchair so that you are directly facing the back of the bus, i.e. facing the opposite direction of travel.
  • Always follow directions by the driver so your trip is safe and enjoyable.

Before using public transport please check your wheelchair or mobility aid meets the size restrictions as electric scooters and similar vehicles in most cases are too heavy and unstable to be carried with safety.

Electric scooters and similar vehicles are small vehicles and are often used as an alternative to public transport.  They are not considered to be essential mobility aids, and are in most cases too heavy and unstable to be carried with safety.  The Public Transport Division will only carry scooters with a laden weight of less than 300 kg, and which can be driven onto the bus, and manoeuvred to fit wholly within the Priority Seating area under their own power.

Space Availability

If passengers are already seated in the folding seats in the Priority Seating area bus drivers may ask those passengers to move (if other room is available) when a wheelchair user wishes to board a bus.  If other room is not available then the bus is deemed to be full and the wheelchair occupant is expected to wait for the following service.

If other passengers decline to vacate the Priority Seating area, the bus driver may elect not to continue the trip until the space is cleared.  If this (clearing the space) would create a safety risk (e.g. where a passenger already on board has a mobility problem and has to stand), the bus driver may decide not to allow the wheelchair user to board the bus.  (Beyond this action, the bus driver cannot compel other passengers to give up their seats for such a person).

Mobility Aid Dimensions

Your mobility aid needs to:

  • Fit within an allocated space of 1300 mm by 800 mm
  • Be no more than 750 mm wide at a height 300 mm from the ground
  • Weigh no more than 300 kg including the aid, occupant and assistant (if applicable) when using a ramp or other boarding devices

Manoeuvrability

To board public transport your mobility aid should be able to:

  • Turn 180 degrees within an area 2070 mm by 1540 mm
  • Cross a horizontal gap up to 40 mm wide
  • Mount a vertical rise (bump) up to 12 mm
  • Cross grating gaps up to 13 mm wide and 150 mm long
  • Negotiate a 1:14 grade ramp unassisted
  • Negotiate up to a 1:8 grade where the ramp is less than 1520 mm
  • Negotiate a 1:4 grade ramp with assistance

Obligations of the Bus Driver

The bus driver’s principal task is to ensure that all passengers are taken safely and comfortably to their destinations and that the bus is at all times secure.  That requires the bus driver to apply these rules, and also to take into account the needs of people who have limited mobility (whether or not they are using an aid), who are frail or have some disability, and those who are using prams and strollers.  The bus driver can therefore expect (and may ask) that passengers comply with these rules if they are travelling with a mobility aid, pram or stroller.

Bus drivers may also ask that passengers not place prams, strollers or wheelchairs (or other items) in such a way as to obstruct the aisle or to interfere with the entry or exit of passengers.

Because these rules are for the safety and comfort of all passengers, the bus driver may ask a passenger who is not prepared to abide by the rules to leave the bus (or may not allow such a passenger to enter the bus).  If a passenger who is not complying with these rules refuses such a request, the bus driver may decide, in the interests of safety, not to proceed with the journey, and/or to seek assistance from Transit Officers.

In line with section 33.6 ‘Direct Assistance’ from the Disability Standards for Accessible Public Transport 2002 (abstract below), for safety and security of the bus, bus drivers should generally not leave the driving seat.  An exception will be when the bus driver offers assistance for a passenger to enter or leave the bus, ensuring first it is safe and reasonable, and where the bus is properly secured.

33.6 Direct assistance

  1. Nothing in these Standards prevents operators or providers from offering assistance directly to passengers.
  2. If these Standards have not been fully met, direct assistance may be a means of providing equivalent access.
  3. In addition to compliance with other provisions of these Standards, direct assistance to passengers is required if:

    (a) it is necessary to provide equivalent access to a service; and
    (b) direct access can reasonably be provided without unjustifiable hardship.

    Disability Standards For Accessible Public Transport 2002

Obligations of Passengers 

The Department of Transport is committed to providing safe, comfortable and reliable transport for passengers, but being a passenger also carries some obligations.

All buses have a maximum passenger loading limit (the greatest number of passengers which can be safely carried), the load limit affects all intending passengers this includes passengers with mobility aids or prams. If a bus has reached its maximum passenger capacity and/or has no available room to accommodate a mobility aid or pram then the driver may refuse transport.

Passengers must abide by the rules set out above.  Passengers who do not follow these rules, may be advised that the Department cannot accept any liability for any injury or damage which occurs as a result to the passenger, any other passenger, or a bus driver.

Compliance to the Disability Discrimination Standards

All States and Territories are required to comply with specific Commonwealth legislation.  One such Act is the Disability Discrimination Act 1992 (DDA) as amended from time to time, and it’s associated Standards.

The Disability Discrimination Act (DDA) seeks to eliminate discrimination ‘as far as possible’ against people with disabilities. To view or download the (DDA) Act click here and select what file type you wish to view.

The associated Standards; Disability Standards For Accessible Public Transport 2002, purpose is to enable public transport operators and providers to remove discrimination from public transport services.  

Transport for Students with Special Needs

The Territory Government's Department of Transport in partnership with the Department of Education and Training provides transport assistance to and from school for eligible Pre-School, Primary and Secondary Students with special needs.

Students who have been approved for special needs transport by the Department of Education and Training are picked up from their nominated location, by either a taxi or a special needs bus (depending on the arrangements made with Public Transport Division) and taken to and from school.

Special needs transport is for students who are mobility impaired due to a disability or medical condition that prevents independent travel.

The buses are crewed by a driver and a transit carer, however medication services are not provided and administration of medication en-route is prohibited.

Please Note:Transport Service Providers are not responsible for the delivery of prescription drugs.

The safety of students using the transport service requires the collaborative effort of parents / carers, schools, the Student Services Division, transport service providers, drivers, transit carers and the Public Transport Division.

For more details regarding special needs transport please view the Transport for Students with Special Needs - Code of Good Practice

For special needs services please contact your school for assistance.